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You are here: Home / Urban Forest Connections Webinars / Monitoring Urban Trees: Survival, growth, and energy-saving performance

Monitoring Urban Trees: Survival, growth, and energy-saving performance

Young tree in suburban front lawn
Lara Roman

Monitoring Urban Trees: Survival, growth, and energy-saving performance
March 9, 2016

Lara Roman, USDA Forest Service
Yekang Ko, University of Texas, Arlington
Pete Smith, Arbor Day Foundation

Evaluating the performance of a tree planting program requires urban tree monitoring and data to help answer a critical question: How many planted trees survived to maturity? This webinar will present monitoring data from shade tree giveaway programs that distribute trees to urban residential yards for energy savings. Research showing a discrepancy between expected and observed performance can help future tree planting programs enhance tree survival and the delivery of desired ecosystem services. The methods and analytical techniques from this research can be applied to other tree planting initiatives across different site types, programs, and cities. Lara Roman will present key findings from field monitoring, the crucial role of homeowner stability and maintenance, and modern analytical techniques for studying urban tree mortality. Yekang Ko will describe a unique, long-term tree monitoring study in Sacramento that evaluated survival, growth, and energy savings. Pete Smith will discuss the Arbor Day Foundation's Energy-Saving Trees program and a new monitoring initiative that serves as a critical reality check for tree survival and program success.


View the webinar podcast »

Monitoring Urban Trees: Survival, growth, and energy-saving performance (PDF)
Lara Roman
Research Ecologist
USDA Forest Service

Sacramento Shade 22-Year Study (PDF)
Yekang Ko
Assistant Professor, Department of Planning & Landscape Architecture
University of Texas, Arlington

A Comparison of Survey Methods to Estimate Survivability of Energy-Saving Trees in Houston, Texas (PDF)
Pete Smith
Urban Forestry Program Manager
Arbor Day Foundation

Q & A (PDF)

Resources and references (PDF)


Resources Mentioned in the Webinar

Energy-Saving Trees Program
Arbor Day Foundation's online mapping tool, powered by i-Tree technology, takes the guesswork out of tree planting by helping to identify the ideal location for energy savings.

Urban Tree Growth & Longevity
The Urban Tree Growth & Longevity Working Group aims to foster communication among researchers and professionals, enrich scientific exchange, and enhance the quality, productivity, and timeliness of research on tree growth, mortality, and longevity through collaboration.

Planted Tree Re-Inventory Protocol
Researchers at Indiana University at Bloomington developed this Protocol for minimally-trained data collectors to measure trees that have been planted by people in the urban landscape.

US Forest Service Resources

Urban Tree Monitoring Publications
Lara Roman provides links to her and Yekang Ko's work on the Sacramento Shade Study.

i-Tree Tools
The US Forest Service's free i-Tree tools help communities of all sizes to strengthen their urban forest management and advocacy efforts by quantifying the environmental services, including energy savings, that trees provide.