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Assessment of Municipal Urban and Community Programs in the United States and Evaluation of Associated Community Capacity

2013 | Dr. Richard Hauer, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point

This project will assess municipal urban forest programs for the capacity to manage urban forest populations. It has been 20 years since the last assessment of municipal urban forestry programs in the United States. This will also allow us to identify the trends and changes that have occurred since 1993. (1) We will develop baseline knowledge of municipal urban forestry program capacity. Defining capacity is important for describing the ability to plant and maintain trees and approaches used to access and remove trees that pose high risk for societal injury and damage. (2) The project will identify approaches that lead to urban & community forest capacity building. This part will identify attributes of municipal programs that lead to enhanced urban forestry outcomes. (3) Project results will be used to support Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of the urban forest. LCA is an important and new way to measure what is needed to grow the urban forest from the nursery to the end point at tree removal. Collected data will also support creating an i-Tree urban forest management module. The data would be used to drive a simulation process using real data that describes municipal urban forestry operations.

Study Results

This project completed all project goals and objectives. A main 71-page technical report summarizes findings from over 660 communities in the United States:—MTCUS.aspx. Additional publications and presentations from this work are also available on that website.

In addition, we have further collaborated with colleagues from Sweden to build upon this work and compare municipal forestry in these two counties. The TREE Fund supported project was instrumental to leverage other research funds from the Wisconsin Arborist Association, Davey Resource Group, and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. We thank the TREE Fund for supporting this project which kick-started something that rebuilt a 20-year gap in our municipal forestry knowledge.


Year: 2013

Funding Duration: 1-3 years

Grant Program: John Z. Duling

Grant Title: Assessment of Municipal Urban and Community Programs in the United States and Evaluation of Associated Community Capacity

Researcher: Dr. Richard Hauer

Key words:

Peer Reviewed Publications from Grant:

General Audience/Trade Publications:


  • Hauer, R. and W. Peterson. 2016. Municipal Forestry Baseline, Trends and Where Do We Go From Here? 55th Minnesota Shade Tree Short Course. Oral Presentation. Arden Hills, MN. March 15 – 16, 2016.
  • Hauer R.J. 2016. Implications of Tree Diversity in the United States: A 2014 Urban & Community Forestry Census of the United States. Second International Conference on Urban Tree Diversity. Oral Presentation. Melbourne, Australia. February 22 – 23, 2016.
  • Hauer, R. and W. Peterson. 2016. Maintaining the Urban Forest & the 2015 Update on Municipal Tree Management. Wisconsin Arborist Association Annual Conference. Oral Presentation. Green Bay, WI. February 14 – 16, 2016.
  • Peterson W, and R. Hauer. 2015. Baseline and Trends in Municipal Forestry Management: Results from a 2014 Census. Society of Municipal Arborists. Oral Presentation. Denver, CO, FL. November 16 – 17, 2015.
  • Hauer, R.J. 2015. Community Forestry What’s the baseline? Journey thru the 5th National Survey of baseline trends in Municipal Tree Management. Oklahoma Urban & Community Forestry Council Annual Conference. Oral Presentation. Stillwater, OK. October 28, 2015.
  • Hauer, R. and W. Peterson. 2015. Municipal Forestry, Tree Activities, and Management in the United States: A 2014 Urban & Community Forestry Census of the United States. International Society of Arboriculture 91st Annual Conference & Trade Show. Oral Presentation. Orlando, FL. August 8 – 12, 2015.

Categories 2013, Grant Archive, John Z. Duling Grant

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Applications open January 9

Apply online for the $50K Hyland Johns Research Grant, $3K Felix Scholarship, or a $5K Arboriculture Education Grant.

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