by JF Dwyer, DJ Nowak, MH Noble, SM Sisinni

USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Portland, OR


The Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 requires an inventory of the nation’s forest resources every 10 years and a program proposal for managing those resources every 5 years. This study is the first nationwide assessment of urban forests in the United States, in keeping with that legislation. An in-depth description of the urban forest resource in the U.S., in particular its magnitude and variability is the focus of Chapter 2. State values for overall tree cover, land use, and demographics are presented together with tree cover and tree populations for urban areas within each state. Chapter 3 considers urban forests from a local perspective, with a focus on two comprehensive urban forest studies in Chicago and Oakland. Potential consequences of urbanization are described. Chapter 4 presents the direct and indirect human and natural forces that affect the urban forest over time, including management, funding, species preferences, changing populations, changing audiences, pests and disease, and weather. The history of Oakland’s urban forest is presented as a case study. The report closes with recommendations for improving sustainability, monitoring, dialogue, and collaboration.

Region: United States; Oakland, California; Chicago, Illinois
Publication Type: Technical report
Keywords: policy, tree canopy cover, urban forestry, and urbanization