What Is Urban Forestry?

Imagine a future where our urban tree canopies are thoughtfully planted so that each tree can one day live on as something new.

A future where the economic value of the timber after the tree eventually dies is just as important as the many benefits it gives the community while living.

This is Urban Forestry.

A new approach to planting and using trees in metropolitan centers.

In the future of Urban Forestry, native tree species will be grown among the existing tree canopy so that they quickly adapt and benefit the local ecosystem. While living, they'll provide beauty, shade, clean air, and help control erosion.

And when the trees eventually succumb to disease, extreme weather, or development, the lumber can be harvested and used for high quality wood products.

Instead of being hauled away to a landfill, a giant white oak tree will live on as cabinets, flooring, or furniture. A grove of yellow pine trees cleared to build a new school, will be used to build picnic tables for new generations of students.

Where there was once a wasteful tax burden, there will be a rich resource that benefits the local economy.

This is the future. This is the Urban Forestry revolution.

Read Story of a Tree

To give you an idea just how important Urban Forestry is, here are a few links to what's going on in Charlotte and across the USA.

Title Description
Ten-Year Urban Forestry Action Plan Visit Website
National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council
The plan's purpose is to expand awareness of the benefits that our urban forests, including green infrastructure, provide to communities throughout the nation, and increase investments in these urban forest resources for the benefit of current and future generations. The plan provides specific goals, actions, and recommendations for improving the status of urban and community forestry for the United States and its territories.
Urban Ecosystem Analysis Visit Website
Mecklenburg County and the City of Charlotte, NC with American Forests
Calculating the Value of Nature
Trees are important indicators of the health of a community's urban ecosystem. When trees are large and healthy, the ecological systems that support them are also healthy. Healthy trees provide valuable environmental benefits through the biological functions of their roots and leaves.
Protecting & Restoring Forests Visit Website
American Forests
American Forests defines urban forests as "ecosystems of trees and other vegetation in and around communities that may consist of street and yard trees, vegetation within parks and along public rights of way and water systems. Urban forests provide communities with environmental, economic and social benefits and habitat for fish and wildlife." Thus, urban forests are not only about the trees in the city, but rather, they are a critical part of the green infrastructure that makes up the city ecosystem.
North Carolina Forest Action Plan Assessment Visit Website
North Carolina Forest Service
The forest resource assessment and accompanying strategic plan and priority maps constitute a coordinated plan for moving North Carolina forests into the future. Driven by the need to efficiently target efforts to address state and national priorities, this document constitutes a broad vision for protecting and enhancing North Carolina forest values and benefits.
NC Forest Service Strategic Plan Visit Website
North Carolina Forest Service
The NC Forest Service's primary purpose is to ensure adequate and quality forest resources for the state to meet its present and future needs. The forest products industry is the largest manufacturing business sector in the state, contributing approximately $24 billion annually to the state's economy and providing around 180,000 jobs for North Carolinians.
Working Trees Visit Website
National Agroforestry Center
Agroforestry is not yet a common word for farmers, ranchers, and foresters. So we talk about Working Trees to communicate that trees can be purposefully incorporated into farms, ranches, woodlands and communities to do specific jobs like provide income and wildlife habitat or protect soil, water and air quality.
Successful Approaches to Recycling Urban Wood Waste Visit Website
United States Department of Agriculture - Forest Service
This report presents eight case studies of successful urban wood waste recycling projects and businesses. These studies document the success of recovered products such as lumber and lumber products, mulch, boiler fuel, and alternative cover for landfills. Overall, wood waste accounts for about 17% of the total waste received at municipal solid waste landfills in the United States.