COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0077.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: green infrastructure; tree by-laws; tree ordinances; urban forest governance
Online: 6 April 2023 (08:38:44 CEST)
Tree ordinances can be an effective means of preserving urban forests in the face of development pressures. Despite this, they also have the potential to be divisive among the public - especially when applied to privately-owned land. In this study we surveyed 1,716 Florida urban residents to understand how they value regulation and management of the urban forest. Specifically, we asked about: tree protection ordinances, incentive programs to manage or plant trees, justification for tree removal, and development. Most respondents supported tree protections, even when applied to trees on their own property or when they had the potential to limit development activities. Additionally, there was limited support for removing healthy trees for development. Respondents supported the use of funds for urban forestry efforts – particularly at the local or state level.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0205.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: city trees; landscape design; nursery production; urban greenspace
Online: 16 May 2022 (10:38:21 CEST)
While many practitioners and experts understand the risks associated with low urban tree diversity, they often lack the ability to rectify issues they encounter on their own. The current system of tree production and procurement is complex – shaped by market pressures, nursery and site constraints, local governance, and differing professional objectives among those who grow, specify, and plant trees. To understand this complexity as well as constraints to- and opportunities for increasing urban tree diversity, we conducted a series of focus groups comprised of nursery growers, landscape architects, and urban foresters. Our results highlight a significant list of considerations and constraints to diversity (both shared among green industries and some specific to growers or purchasers). More importantly, in discussing our findings we outline actionable strategies for increasing urban tree diversity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0517.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: city trees; landscape design; landscape architecture; socio-ecological system; urban ecosystem; urban forest
Online: 30 August 2022 (09:54:35 CEST)
Despite the abundance of tree diversity in the natural world, and generally high tree species richness in urban areas, urban forests continue to be dominated by a limited number of species. As socio-ecological systems, urban forests are shaped by historical and current management efforts and decision-making of a wide range of human actors. Drawing on past research, we offer a conceptual framework for describing the complex interactions among tree producers and consumers as trees are selected, grown, specified, and planted in private and public urban areas. We illustrate how multiple layers of selection criteria filter down the entirety of potential local tree diversity to a handful of commonly used and accepted tree species. We detail the actors and decision makers who impact tree composition and diversity across several land types. Finally, we identify research, education and outreach needs as they relate to creating more diverse and resilient urban forest ecosystems.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1760.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: ecosystem disservices; ecosystem services; environmental equity; landcover; urban forest governance
Online: 25 May 2023 (08:00:48 CEST)
Background: Public engagement is needed to make sure urban forestry management efforts align with the values of the public being served. Noting this, we determined current and desired urban forest access of Florida (United States) residents using the criteria from the 3-30-300 rule (i.e., 3 trees visible from home, 30% canopy in neighborhood, and a green space within 300 meters of home). Methods: A survey of 1,716 Florida residents was conducted to assess canopy coverage and green space access. Respondents were then asked if this level of urban forest access was sufficient for their needs. We also asked their perceptions of the benefits and drawbacks of urban trees and whether they had any negative interactions with trees in the past. Results: We found that 37.3% of Florida residents met all three criteria of the 3-30-300 rule. Despite this, half the respondents would prefer more trees in their neighborhoods. When asked to name the top benefits provided by trees, the most common responses were shade, beauty, and attracting wildlife. The most common drawbacks to urban trees included risk to property, leaves/debris, and fears regarding storms and hurricanes. Conclusions: Florida residents largely value their urban forest and would like to see it maintained or enhanced. Improving access to greenspaces for recreation is the most pressing concern for urban forest managers in Florida looking to meet the requirements of the 3-30-300 rule. Results from this study can inform and test urban forest management at national and global scales.