Publication Details

Construction and Proactive Management Led to Tree Removals on an Urban College Campus

Publication Toolbox

  • Download PDF (1.0 MB)
  • This publication is available only online.
Roman, Lara A.; Fristensky, Jason P.; Lundgren, Robert E.; Cerwinka, Chloe E.; Lubar, Jason E.

Year Published

2022

Publication

Forests

Abstract

Urban trees in lawns and along streets are anthropogenically constructed systems, in that these tree communities are formed by human planting and removal actions. Tree mortality studies are essential to understanding the temporal dynamism of urban forests, and in particular, it is critical to incorporate institutional records and human decision-making regarding tree removals. In this study, we investigated tree removals on a highly urbanized college campus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (US) by analyzing field inventories and institutional records, and by considering firsthand accounts of the University Landscape Architect. The annual mortality rate was 4.3%, higher than typical for comparable studies, which we attribute to construction pressure and proactive management to promptly remove unhealthy trees and manage risk. Capital projects and other construction caused 48.5% of all removals, other human land use decisions caused 2.0%, and tree health decline and risk management collectively accounted for 48.7%. The number of removed trees exactly equaled the number of new trees, and the campus has high taxonomic diversity, reflecting the extensive oversight by university tree and landscape professionals regarding tree removal and planting decisions. This study demonstrates the value of mixed-methods and transdisciplinary research to understand how urban forests change over time.

Keywords

urban densification; redevelopment; building renovation; urban forest; tree monitoring; urban greening; urban greenspace; urban tree mortality; tree demography; sustainable campus

Citation

Roman, Lara A.; Fristensky, Jason P.; Lundgren, Robert E.; Cerwinka, Chloe E.; Lubar, Jason E. 2022. Construction and Proactive Management Led to Tree Removals on an Urban College Campus. Forests. 13(6): 871. https://doi.org/10.3390/f13060871.

Last updated on: September 30, 2022