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.
Explore these resources to better understand why it’s important to establish, expand, or maintain existing trees and greenspace in your community.
Explore more about the benefits of trees on this Trees are Good website and with the other resources below.
Trees in Communities
See how communities across the Commonwealth (and the nation) are successfully growing their urban tree canopy and reaping the benefits of community forests. You can also log your own tree planting projects to make sure your trees count!
Bring Trees to Your Community
Despite the many known benefits of trees, municipalities are losing their trees at an alarming rate, estimated at four million trees annually nationwide (Nowak 2010). As populations rise in urban areas, there is increased pressure to convert land to accommodate both commercial and residential development. Cities are also losing older, established trees from the cumulative impacts of land development, storms, diseases, old age, and other factors (Nowak and Greenfield 2012).
These resources can help you establish or expand your own community forest efforts – reverse the trend of tree loss in our cities!
- Read more about Community Planning.
- Determine how trees can benefit your specific location with i-Tree Landscape.
- Get help in creating community tree ordinances with the Virginia Tree Ordinance Database.
- Join a local Tree Steward chapter.
- Learn more about national research and case studies on urban forests at the Vibrant Cities Lab.
- Learn more about regional research, case studies and stories for the Chesapeake Bay states at the Chesapeake Tree Canopy Network.
- Learn more about urban forestry from the academic resources at Virginia Tech.
|Forests: Providers of Ecosystem Services||P00142|
Brochure provides insight into the other ecosystem benefits that forests provide, such as carbon sequestration, water quality, wetland and species mitigation banking. Printed copies available.
|From Trees to Products – We Depend on Trees for Many Everyday Products||FT0034|
Forestry topic information sheet provides information about the products we get from trees, including solid wood products, wood pulp products and products from other tree parts.
|Healthy Trees, Healthy Lives|
Presentation prepared by the Southern Group of State Foresters highlights the reasons trees contribute to healthy lives. (Warning – large file)
|My Tree Counts|
Every tree planted makes a difference to the health of our communities and the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The VDOF and partners want to highlight tree planting projects from across the state. Submit your tree planting to show that your tree counts!
|Riparian Forest Buffers – Forests on the Water’s Edge||P00140|
Publication is the effort of the Chesapeake Bay Program, including multiple states within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, to educate the community leaders and the public about the benefits of riparian forest Buffers, their importance to watersheds for air quality, water quality and fish and wildlife habitat, forest Buffer losses and how we manage growth in riparian zones, how to maintain quality riparian forest Buffers, efforts in riparian forest restoration, and what you can do for forest Buffers. Printed copies available.
|The Benefits of Trees!||PST006|
Poster educates the public about the benefits of trees – human health, improved water quality, energy savings, reducing heat, and providing local wood sources. Printed copies available.
|Valuing Virginia’s Forests – Ecosystem Benefits Provided by Our Forests||FT0005|
Forestry topic information sheet provides a brief overview of the indirect benefits, such as ecosystem services, that we derive from our forests. Printed copies available.
Nowak, D.J., Greenfield, E.J. 2010. Evaluating The National Land Cover Database Tree Canopy and Impervious Cover Estimates Across the Conterminous United States: A Comparison with Photo-Interpreted Estimates. Environmental Management 46:378–390
Nowak, D.J., Greenfield, E.J. 2012. Tree and impervious cover change in U.S. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening 11(1):21-30