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  4. Urban and Community Forestry

Technical Resources - Management Plans and UCF Management Tools

What is an Urban/Community Forest Management Plan?

An Urban and Community Forestry Management plan is a document created to help a community make management decisions concerning their municipal tree resources. The document is based on the unique collection of trees that make up their municipal forest. A quality urban/community forest management plan is based on a tree inventory - the very resources that is to be protected and managed. A management plan without an inventory is like a car without a steering wheel. You may be going places but you really aren't in control.   Each urban/community forest management plan is unique to the location for which it is developed. There are however some common threads for all management plans.


Components of an Urban/Community Forestry Management Plan:

1) Introduction to the Community

2) Local Urban/Community Forestry Program overview and goals including the current level of tree planting, care and removals occurring in the municipality.

3) Identification of Local tree authorities and standards for tree care

4) An assessment of the forest resources by species, age, condition of the trees, diversity and age percentages.

5) Analysis of the municipal forest - its value and health condition

6) Tree Management Concerns and Strategies) Tree Management Concerns and Strategies

7) Future Actions including policy development needs, fiscal and staffing needs, reforestation needs, high risk tree removal needs, and utility line tree conflict resolution.

Additional sections could address disaster preparedness, stormwater management, interagency actions, any unique trees or historic trees in the community.



Urban Forest Management Toolkit

Comparison of Urban Forest Inventory and Management Software - from Urban Forestry South

Tree Management Plans and Your Community - by Morton Arboretum

Changing Landscape Factsheets

OpenTreeMaps -  collaborative, crowd-sourced projects where citizens help inventory urban trees, learn about the environmental benefits trees provide, and explore nature in their city. 


Regional Plans:

In additional to local management plans, organizations often have regional plans that are based on an issue or individual species. Below are some examples:

Oak Ecosystem Recovery Plan - Chicago Wilderness


Urban Forest Management Tools:

Green Infrastructure and Forestry Tool Kit - USDA Forest Service