USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station

Pacific Southwest
Research Station

800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
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Publications and Products

Title: Climate ready urban trees for Central Valley cities

Authors: McPherson, E.G.; Berry, A.M.

Date: 2015

Publication Western Arborist. 41(1): 58-62

Abstract: Urban forests provide many societal and ecological services to cities and their inhabitants. Many species of trees are under stress due to anthropogenic and natural climate changes. Projected climatic shifts will change temperature, precipitation, and the incidences of pest and disease outbreaks. The tolerance of urban trees to these stressors varies considerably among species and the perpetuation of urban forests depends on tree species resilience to climate induced stress within particular climate zones. The purpose of this study is to provide new information on what tree species to plant in which climate zones, by field-testing the most promising cultivars. Trees will be selected for testing based on evaluation of climate induced risk factors that impact their vulnerability or resilience, specifically for urban areas in the Central Valley. Risk factors used in the analysis are (1) habitat specificity: sunlight exposure, soil texture and pH, soil moisture (2) physiology: drought tolerance, salt tolerance, wind tolerance (3) biological interactions: invasiveness, major or minor pests and diseases, emerging pests and diseases. Long-term field testing (20 years) at university of California experiment Station field plots and in nearby parks will allow for direct comparisons of growth and longevity under a range of site conditions. Results will help urban foresters, landscape architects and planners select trees for planting that can improve the stability and long term success of future urban forests.

Keywords: tree selection, tree evaluation, drought, urban forestry

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    McPherson, E.G.; Berry, A.M. 2015. Climate ready urban trees for Central Valley cities. Western Arborist. 41(1): 58-62.
Last Modified: April 28, 2015