Learn about Urban and Community Forestry

From public parks and yard trees to greenway corridors and streamside buffers, trees provide critical benefits to people and communities. The Virginia Department of Forestry seeks to develop diverse and healthy forests that are accessible for all. The program supports cities, towns, and communities across the Commonwealth as they establish and maintain their urban tree canopy.

Benefits of Trees in Communities

Scientists continue to learn how trees play a crucial role in the green infrastructure of America’s cities and towns. Trees brighten city streets and delight nature-starved urbanites. Forested neighborhoods have less crime, less pollution, reduced energy costs, and higher quality of life than similar open areas.

Learn more about the benefits of trees in communities.

Healthy Trees, Healthy Lives

Urban forests play an important, multifaceted role in maintaining and improving the environmental conditions of cities, as well as contribute to the health of the people that live there. Since more than 80% of Virginians live in urbanized areas, it is increasingly important to invest in and take care of these forests.

Learn more about how how trees positively impact human health.

Tree Identification

There are many reasons to learn the identity of the trees around us. The trees growing on a site can tell us a lot about the soil, climate, and other environmental conditions there. Certain trees make good lumber, paper, medicines, food, or other products we need. Some animals rely on particular trees for food or shelter. Trees can be identified by many features, including leaves, bark, fruits, and buds.

Learn more about tree identification.

Planting Trees

Many trees planted each year by well-meaning homeowners and community workers will never flourish because they are hopelessly unsuited for the conditions in which they are placed. Before rushing in to plant just any available trees, do enough research and planning to ensure success.

Learn more about planting trees.

Tree Care

Trees are living organisms that require routine maintenance to properly establish and thrive for years to come. The urban environment can be stressful for trees. Factors such as limited growing space, soil compaction, and radiant heat from surrounding buildings and pavement are unnatural for trees to encounter.

Learn more about tree care.