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San Francisco Focuses on Urban Forestry

On Christmas Day, when homes all over are filled with pine trees, we hear from planner Jon Swae about San Francisco's Urban Forest Plan and how the city is seeking to grow its urban forestry.
Wednesday, December 25, 2013 09:00 EST | 5
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Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
12/30/2013 10:08:17 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Urban forestry
Thank you for the link, Nicole. But what a horrible story about that tree falling on the fellow's house. I hope that no one was hurt, and also that his insurance covered the damage.

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
12/30/2013 3:05:23 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Urban forestry
No need to keep wondering, Mary... here's everything you could want to know about Portland's heritage trees. Really interesting information.

I kind of love this policy, but I also have one anecdote about it and how it impacts ordinary life: I was in Portland a couple of years ago doing a story about a local government office and one of the employees told me about a very old tree next to his house which was clearly in bad shape, but because of its distinction as a heritage tree, couldn't be removed. Well, that story ended with the tree falling on his house.

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
12/29/2013 2:22:05 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Urban forestry
Good policy in Portland! I wonder how old a tree must be to qualify as heritage, and whether the lifespan differs according to tree speciies.

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
12/27/2013 12:52:13 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Urban forestry
I particularly like that San Francisco is focusing on reuse of bark, etc., so that resources aren't wasted. I didn't realize SF had a lower tree canopy level than NYC and Chicago; however, I do know that Portland has a heritage tree policy that prevents many of the city's trees from being taken down. So I would assume that is a big part of the reason why it's been able to keep its tree canopy at 30 percent.

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
12/26/2013 11:45:29 AM
User Rank Staff
Urban forestry
I just love the term urban forestry, because it implies not only that there is a move to bring silvaculture to our cities, but there is thought and planning behind it.

Managing tree growth isn't simple; trees need planning, maintenance, and ongoing care to thrive. Any money spent toward the effort, however, will pay back well in many ways, not least of which is better air and soil.

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