The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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Definition of Urban Forestry

Reference Number: MTAS-1347
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: September 07, 2016
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Urban forestry is the management of trees for their contribution to the physiological, sociological and economic well-being of the urban society. Urban forestry deals with woodlands, groups of trees, individual trees, and where people live, urban tree areas include a great variety of habitats (streets, parks, derelict corners, etc.) where trees bestow numerous benefits and present numerous problems (Grey and Deneke, 1986).

Urban forestry is the art, science, and technology of managing trees, forests, and natural systems in and around cities, suburbs, and towns for the health and well being of all people.

Trees are major capital assets for communities. Just as streets, sidewalks, sewers, public buildings and recreational facilities are part of a community’s infrastructure, so are publicly owned trees. Trees, and collectively, the urban forest, are important assets that require the same care and maintenance as other public property.

It is very important to have a comprehensive urban forestry program that includes the following steps for successful implementation:
1. Select a program or standards.
2. Establish a tree board.
3. Adopt a tree/landscape ordinance.
4. Establish a budget.
5. Staff the program.
6. Develop an Urban Forestry Management Plan. 

Responsible: