US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
You are here: Home / Urban Forest Connections Webinars / Extreme Events in the Urban Forest: Assessment, Response, and Recovery

Extreme Events in the Urban Forest: Assessment, Response, and Recovery

Springfield, MA tornado damage 2011
Alex Sherman

Extreme Events in the Urban Forest: Assessment, Response, and Recovery
February 10, 2021

Dr. Steve Norman, Research Ecologist, USDA Forest Service
Will Liner, Urban Forestry Coordinator, Florida Forest Service
Alex Sherman, City Forester, City of Springfield, MA

Extreme Events in the Urban Forest: Assessment, Response, and Recovery
Natural disasters cause significant damage each year to our urban forests, and years of local investment in planting and caring for community trees can be suddenly wiped away. We know that urban forest and community resilience can be improved by using best practices in planning, response and recovery. The questions we seek to answer through this special webinar event are: how can we rapidly assess storm damage and what are the lessons learned in mobilizing an effective response and long-term recovery effort? Dr. Steve Norman of the USDA Forest Service will share the newest publicly available remote sensing tools available to predict and assess forest damage. Will Liner of the Florida Forest Service will share how they effectively assessed damage using Urban Forest Strike Teams in Florida and Alabama last year after Hurricane Sally. Alex Sherman, city forester with Springfield, Massachusetts will share lessons learned in long-term recovery from a 2011 tornado.


View the webinar podcast »

Part 1:
Dr. Steve Norman
Research Ecologist
USDA Forest Service
Rapid Assessment of Wind Impacts to Urban Forests

Part 2:
Will Liner
Urban Forestry Coordinator
Florida Forest Service
Urban Forest Strike Team: Hurricane Sally

Part 3:
Alex Sherman
City Forester
City of Springfield, MA
Recovering the Urban Tree Canopy After the Storm


Resources Mentioned in the Webinar

Urban Forest Strike Team: Ohio DNR you tube video, 4:50 min

High Resolution Forest Mapping - Hiform - rapidly evolving technologies are revolutionizing the way we monitor forests. These changes include the ability to monitor impacts from forest disturbances with higher spatial detail and frequency than ever before thanks to the availability of new satellites and cloud computing.

NOAA Emergency Response Imagery - the imagery posted on this site was acquired by the NOAA Remote Sensing Division to support NOAA homeland security and emergency response requirements. In addition, it will be used for ongoing research efforts for testing and developing standards for airborne digital imagery. Imagery listed from 2003-2020.

Storm damage prevention and treatment - there is no doubt trees can cause damage and be damaged in storms. However, appropriately placed and maintained trees can help reduce damage to structures in storms by deflecting wind, and reduce damage to trees.

Best Management Practices - Tree risk assessment. 2nd ed. International Society of Arboriculture. This BMP is intended to serve as a guide for arborists to assess tree risk as accurately and consistently as possible, to evaluate that risk, and to recommend measures that achieve an acceptable level of risk.

Smart Trees PacificĀ - Urban Forestry Emergency Operations Planning Guide for Storm Response
Section 1 is the guide that provides urban forestry professionals concrete approaches when preparing for natural disasters that impact the urban forest. Section 2 describes the process used to develop the guide and includes information about the survey, the interviews, the expert meeting and next steps.

U.S. Forest Service, Urban Forestry South, Community Forest Storm Mitigation Planning for Georgia Communities
This Community Forest Storm Mitigation Planning Workbook and the accompanying Community Forest Storm Mitigation Plan Template are intended as tools for Georgia communities to use in assessing their community forest storm readiness, mitigating tree risk and reducing treeā€related storm damage, and developing a community forest storm mitigation plan.

U.S. Forest Service, Urban Forestry South, Vegetation Risk Management Plan Template
The Vegetation Risk Management Plan (VRMP) is developed as a tool to help increase public safety after a storm event, maintain optimum urban tree canopy, promote tree health, provide for effective emergency and arboricultural management, and decrease emergency management costs.