What is Urban Forestry?
The Society of American Foresters defines urban forestry as, “the art, science, and technology of managing trees and forest resources in and around urban community ecosystems for the physiological, sociological, economic, and aesthetic benefits trees provide society.”
The urban/community forest is where trees and people meet. Trees provide numerous benefits to the people who live among them, including stormwater management, pollution mitigation, and, if placed correctly, reduction of heating and cooling costs. Trees have also been proven to reduce anxiety and increase property values. These ecosystem services are compounded in the built, urban environment.
Trees are not native to urban settings. In order for our urban and community forests to truly thrive, and in order to maximize the ecosystem services they provide, they must be properly planned, maintained, and managed.
Urban forestry is a relatively new discipline, full of new ideas and opportunities to innovate. The need for highly trained, qualified professionals in this industry is growing quickly as more and more people begin to realize the extent of the benefits that the urban forest provides, as well as the complexity of managing this resource.