Title: Florida's urban and urbanizing forests
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00091330/00002
 Material Information
Title: Florida's urban and urbanizing forests
Series Title: Florida's urban and urbanizing forests
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publisher: School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: May 2008
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00091330
Volume ID: VID00002
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Florida's Urban and Urbanizing Forests

Urban and Urbanizing Forests is an Extension Program of the School of Forest
Resources and Conservation, IFAS/UF

Urbanizing Forest Programs at the
UF-Gulf Coast REC-Plant City Campus
By Dr. Michael G. Andreu and Melissa H. Friedman
UF School of Forest Resources and Conservation, GCREC Plant City Campus

Rob]. Northrop
UF/IFAS Hillsborough County Extension

The Gulf Coast Research and
Education Center-Plant City
campus offers a variety of
professional development and
training workshops for urban
forestry and natural resource
professionals as well as the general
public. When appropriate, these
courses are broadcast to extension
offices throughout the state via the
Polycom system. Some of these
training take place on campus and
others may be taught "in the field."
The year started off by hosting a 1.5
day training session on the i-Tree
urban forestry software package
produced by the USDA Forest
Service at the UF-Plant City Campus.
The i-Tree suite of tools includes
programs that assess the structure,
function, and environmental values
of street trees (STRATUM), in
addition to the entire urban forest
(UFORE). This training program was
made possible through the
collaborative effort by UF-IFAS
Extension, USDA Forest Service,
Florida Division of Forestry, and
Florida Urban Forestry Council.
Representatives from all four
organizations led parts of the
training. Participants consisted of

urban foresters and arborists in the
public and private sector.
Over 15 people attended this inaugural
i-Tree training in Florida. Program
participants were able to get hands on
experience using the i-Tree software in
the computer lab and learned about the
data collection process in the field.
Based on the success of this training, the
team is planning a second training event
in July in Palm Beach, Florida at a
location that is yet to be announced. To
keep abreast of i-Tree training in
Florida visit http://sfrc.ufl.edu/
urbanforestry. To learn more about
the i-Tree suite of programs visit

On April 15-17 a three-da

Continue on page 6



In this issue:
In this issue:

Natural Resource
Conservation in Plant
City, Florida

Science Corner

Is a Tree Canopy Goal 4

Student Spotlight 5

Natural Resource Conservation in Plant City, Florida

By Melissa H. Friedman
UF School of Forest Resources and Conservation
GCREC Plant City Campus

If you thought the University of
Florida (UF) was only located in
Gainesville, Florida, think again!
That's right, UF has several satellite
campuses located around the state.
Satellite campuses offer courses to
a variety of students; those that are
degree seeking (requires an A.A. or
transfer of up to 60 credits), non-
degree seeking (requires a H.S.
Diploma), and post baccalaureate.
These campuses provide a means
to those who would like to pursue
a degree or simply further their
education at an accredited univer-
sity to do so without having to
relocate. The newest satellite
campus is located in Hillsborough
County, Plant City, Florida. The
Gulf Coast Research and Educa-
tion Center (GCREC) Plant City
Campus offers bachelor and gradu-
ate degrees in several programs,
including a B.S. in Natural
Resource Conservation (NRC).
The NRC program is administered
through the School of Forest
Resources and Conservation
(SFRC) and combines the fields of
Forestry and Wildlife Ecology into
an interdisciplinary degree. This
well-rounded degree not only pro-
vides students with a foundation in

the teachings and philosophies of
these two disciplines but also
equips them with the necessary
field experience that makes UF
graduates competitive in the
professional work force.

Dr. Michael Andreu, professor
of Forest Systems, teaches a wide
array of courses at the Plant City
campus including: Dendrology
and Forest Plants, Forest Ecology,
Natural Resource Sampling, Fire
Ecology and Management, Global
Energy Issues, Forest Ecosystems
of the Southeast (a field tour),
and Critical Thinking:
Challenging Your Ecological Per-
spectives. In general, class sizes
are small and courses are offered
in the evenings and weekends to
accommodate working students.
Dr. Andreu's philosophy is that
students learn best with a
hands-on approach and most of
his classes have a heavy field
component to them.

The NRC program has only fully
been in place for three years, yet
it has already graduated six
students (it takes at least two
years to graduate) and currently
has eight more working towards

having fun
during field

Students estimating ground cover in a
field lab.

their degree! To date, many of our recent
graduates have found employment in the
natural resources field. One of our
graduates is working with Natural Resource
Planning Services and is involved with
traditional forestry work (e.g., management
plans, afforestation, timber cruising) and
urban forestry. Another graduate is the field
supervisor for an ongoing project to inven-
tory the urban and urbanizing forests
within the Tampa Bay watershed. Lastly,
one more graduate is working with a
prescribed fire crew for The Nature
Conservancy and is currently completing a
program to be certified as a Florida
prescribed burner. In all cases, the field
experience these students gained through
our program and their involvement in
student club organizations such as the
Society of American Foresters, gave them
an immediate competitive edge in the job
market upon graduating.

To find out more about the NRC program
and other programs offered at the GCREC-
Plant City Campus, please visit our web site
at http://gcrec.ifas.ufl.edu/pcc, contact
Dr. Michael G. Andreu (mandreu@ufl.edu)
or contact the program coordinator
Dr. Martin Wortman at (813) 757-2280.

Urban Forest Ecosystem Management

By Dr. Wayne C Zipperer, Research Scientist
USDA Forest Service

Traditionally, ecologists have
defined an ecosystem as the
interactions between the biotic (e.g.,
trees and shrubs) and abiotic (e.g.,
soil and atmosphere) components at
a location for a specific time.
Originally, humans were not consid-
ered part of the biotic component.
The definition was for only "natural"
systems and those systems with
humans were considered not
"natural". Fortunately, ecosystem
science has evolved and now includes
humans as a component of the sys-
tem (See the Baltimore LTER
(http://www.beslter.org/) and CAP
LTER (http://caplter.asu.edu/
home/index.jsp) web sites).

Interactions, location, and time char-
acterize the ecosystem. Ecosystems
are all about interactions between
the biotic components and the envi-
ronment. These interactions or proc-
esses include the movement of
energy, organisms, materials (e.g.,
water, nutrient), and information
(when we include humans) within
and among adjacent ecosystems. By
managing the structure of the urban
forest, we attempt to control, modify,
or maintain these processes for
human benefits.

An ecosystem is also defined by its
location. The size and shape of the
location of the ecosystem is depend-
ent on your management objectives.
An entire city can be considered an
ecosystem. Likewise, an individual
neighborhood or census block can
also be considered an ecosystem, and
collectively, these ecosystems form
the city. This flexibility in how we
define the location of the ecosystem
enables us to look at factors affecting

processes at different scales. For
example, tree cover at the city scale
may have minimal influence on
reducing pollution. Knowing that
tree cover may reduce pollution
concentrations, a manager can
better decide where to place trees to
be most effective when reducing
pollution for residents at a finer

". an individual

neighborhood or census
block can also be
considered an ecosystem,
and collectively, these
ecosystems form the city."

Ecosystems are also open systems.
Since energy, organisms, and
materials are moving in and out of
them, location plays an important
role in defining the context, the
surrounding area, in which an
ecosystem occurs. Because an
ecosystem influences and is influ-
enced by neighboring ecosystems,
we need to be aware of these
interactions and how they can affect
our management. For example, a
manager may decide to plant trees
on a recently created vacant lot
rather than depend on natural
regeneration if invasive species
occur in neighboring areas. By
knowing that these species could
colonize the site before trees
become established, the decision to
plant trees, may actually be more
cost-effective than having to conduct

Science Cre

remedial actions by clearing the lot
and then planting.

Ecosystems are dynamic-changing
over time. This change is brought
about by vegetation growing and ma-
turing, human activities, and natural
disturbances. In Florida, we regularly
see the effect of a natural disturbance,
such as hurricanes on urban forests.
Because these events can have catas-
trophic effects on the urban forest,
managers need to plan for change
when making management decisions.
For example, by planting and replant-
ing only with wind resistant trees, we
may reduce losses from hurricanes.

Now, I want to introduce the concept
of ecosystem management. First, I
need to state that given the complexi-
ties of an ecosystem, it is impossible to
manage the entire ecosystem.
Secondly, ecosystem management is
actually about a mind-set. It is an
approach that makes us aware that our
actions on a site can affect the ecologi-
cal and social integrity of the site,
adjacent sites, and the city as a whole.
By knowing that your actions may
affect other processes positively and
negatively, you can assess those effects
before implementation. Likewise, as
managers, we need to identify
alternative management scenarios that
may minimize negative effects and yet,
achieve management objectives.
Through an ecosystem management
approach we can potentially reduce
management costs, maintain site
integrity, and improve ecosystem
benefits for city residents.

Wayne can be reached by phone at
(352) 376-4576 or by email at
wzipperer@fs.fed. us.

Is a Tree Canopy Goal Sufficient?

By Dr. Michael G. Andreu
UF School of Forest Resources and Conservation
GCREC Plant City Campus

O ften urban forests are viewed by
city officials as something "to be
dealt with" or as cost centers versus
revenue generators. One approach to
manage this dilemma is to create a
tree canopy goal and recommenda-
tion based on other cities and organi-
zation's experiences. Communities
can then allocate their resources
towards meeting this goal. Recently
many cities have been developing
policies regarding the urban forest
based on these tree canopy cover
goals (i.e., percent tree cover across
the city).

The Urban Forest Effects (UFORE)
model analysis is an approach that
provides a city information on not
only its canopy, but its tree species
composition and distribution, how
those trees are affecting air quality,
carbon, and building energy usage,
and also the economic and commu-
nity values of the urban forest.
Although UFORE is a model and
requires a statistical field sample and
weather and pollution data, it is an
effective way to overcome the bias of
strictly focusing on "how much urban
forest." A UFORE analysis was
recently completed in the City of

". . because we have

this information, we can
manage the urban forest

to meet some functional

objectives like reducing
greenhouse gas emission

through carbon


Tampa that provides insight into its
28% tree cover. For example if one
looks further into the City of Tampa's
tree cover we would realize that man-
grove trees in coastal areas make up a
substantial portion of this tree cover
and the majority of the City's tree cover
is in private lands.

Results from a Tampa UFORE analysis
were presented to the Mayor of the
City of Tampa Pam lorio's executive
staff (all city department heads) by Dr.
Michael Andreu, Rob Northrop, and
Melissa Friedman. Despite only
having a short time to share the
information from the analysis, the
staffers seemed to fully grasp the
implications of this work both from an
ecological as well as policy standpoint.
Rather than just focusing on percent
tree cover we were able to present a
more complex picture of the urban
forest by providing quantitative and
real economic values for forest attrib-
utes such as replacement values based
on species composition, and other
values such as carbon sequestration
and air pollution removal
(approximately $6 million in 2007). But
perhaps most telling was when one of

the staffers stated that "because we
have this information, we can manage
the urban forest to meet some
functional objectives like reducing
greenhouse gas emission through
carbon sequestration." Furthermore,
they saw how this analysis provided
them with the mechanism to formu-
late policies and a way to evaluate
their effectiveness rather than simply
being told what was "good or bad."
These results were also presented to
the City Council of Tampa in early
April. Following this presentation we
will present the results of this
analysis to the general public in a
forum later this spring.

While a tree canopy objective can be
useful it often does not tell the entire
story. Often urban foresters and
planners need to know more than just
"how much urban forest" but also
"what kind of urban forest do we have
and want," "where do we want it," and
"why do we want it." Additional
information not provided by canopy
goals are "what portion of my canopy
is made up of invasive exotics," "what
proportion of this tree cover is
susceptible to pests and disease," and
"in what areas in my city is the urban
forest in poor condition?" Asking
these questions can begin to change
the paradigm on how urban forests
are viewed from simply a collection of
trees that cost money to maintain to
one where the collection of trees are
seen as a functioning ecosystem
which adds real value to those that
live and work in these urban forests.

Dr. Andreu can be reached by email at

Storm Damage Assessment

Protocol for Florida Hurricanes
Con'tfrom page 1

sdap.shtm). This program establishes a standard
method to plan for and assess widespread damage
before and after an ice storm in a simple and efficient
manner providing information on storm impacts, time,
resources, and funds needed to mitigate storm damage.

The SDAP application and field methods were designed
to be used for pre- and post-storm estimates from ice
damage events in the northeastern United States.
Unfortunately, the protocol is not applicable for
assessing hurricane wind effects in the southeastern
United States. To address this need, Francisco
Escobedo and Christina Staudhammer, with the
School of Forest Resources and Conservation at the
University of Florida-IFAS Extension through a
grant from the Florida Division of Forestry are
working with Christopher Luley and Jerry Bond from
Urban Forestry LLC to develop a Florida Hurricane
Adaptation of the SDAP.

The new SDAP Florida Hurricane Adaptation will allow
hurricane-prone Florida communities to plan for, assess,
and respond to hurricanes and their effects on urban
forests. The protocol is being developed based on
existing hurricane related woody debris, tree density,
wind speeds, and right-of-way debris data. This data is
then being used to develop statistical relationships to
FEMA debris data, street segment information, and
disposal costs from communities throughout Florida
that experienced the 2004-2005 Florida Hurricane
season. Post-hurricane tree removal and pruning rate
and cost data were also collected and integrated into the
protocol. Once complete, this protocol should have the
potential to increase the reliability of hurricane tree
debris and cost estimates and provide useful
information for FEMA reimbursement requirements.
This project will also increase the use of SDAP and i-Tree
in Florida and in doing so promote and advocate
proactive management of the urban forest resource.

The Florida Hurricane SDAP Adaptation can soon be
downloaded for use by communities in Florida and
throughout the southeastern coastal United States. An
announcement of availability will be posted on our web
site at http://sfrc.ufl.edu/urbanforestry.

Francisco can be reached by phone at (352) 378-2169.

/ Student Spotlight
My name is Benjamin
Thompson, a graduate student
developing a method for Urban
Foresters to forecast and
estimate hurricane-related
damages, debris volumes, and
costs. This will help Gulf Coast
cities better plan for, respond to,
and mitigate for damage and
losses to their urban forests. I
bring urban forestry experience
from New England and
Washington State and now look
forward to learning about urban
forests in this corner of the U.S.

We want to hear from you!

Let us know what topics and information you want
to see in future issues. Send ideas to Jennifer at

Photo Credits
Page 1 and 2 (R column): Michael Andreu*
Page 2 (L column): Erin Brown*
Pages 4: Bill Sellmeyer
Page 5: Jennifer A. Seitz*
*contributors are from the University of Florida.


Urbanizing Forest Programs ...
Con'tfrom page 1

training session on Restoration Planning and
Techniques for Forested Lands was conducted in
Hillsborough County. This training was a collaborative
effort coordinated by UF-IFAS Extension and The
Nature Conservancy's Natural Areas Training
Academy, in partnership with the Southwest Florida
Water Management District and Hillsborough County
Parks, Recreation, and Conservation Department.
The focus of this event was on best management
practices for restoring biological diversity and ecological
functions on forested lands in an urbanizing
environment Today in Florida, public agencies and
private non-profit organizations are purchasing lands for
conservation purposes. However, too often these
conservation lands are islands of "natural forest"
surrounded by development which limits managers on
the tools they can use (e.g., prescribed fire) in these
settings. This course reviewed how managers can
overcome some of these challenges through information
provided during classroom lectures, case study
presentations, and field site visits. For more information
about this program and future workshops please visit

And lastly, our forthcoming program titled Community
Forest Steward Program is a 32-hour training taking
place May 29-June 26, 2008, in Hillsborough County.

This program is designed to serve community volunteers
who are interested in the cultivation and care of trees and
woodlands, and who enjoy sharing what they learn with
others. The goal of this program is to develop a network
of highly motivated, well-trained volunteers to expand
and improve Florida's community forests and the public's
awareness of them. Upon completion, participants will
receive their certification as a new "Community Forest
Steward". In return for their training, participants are
committed to volunteer at least 30 hours in their
communities within the first year of receiving their
certification. In the future, we would like to expand this
program statewide but currently it is only being offered
in Hillsborough County. For more information about this
program and how to register, please contact
northrop@ufl.edu or call (813) 744-5519.

Upcoming extension workshops developed by our team
this year include: The Mayor's Conference on
Community Trees and Urban Forests-June 19, and a
workshop titled "Strategies for the Sustainability of
Tampa's Urban Forests"-Summer 2008.

For questions about the Plant City Urbanizing Forest
Program, please contact Dr. Michael Andreu or Melissa
Friedman at (813) 757-2272 at the UF-Plant City
Campus or Rob Northrop at (813) 744-5519 x 106 at the
UF/IFAS Hillsborough County Extension Office.

Urban and Urbanizing Forests Program

Assistant Professor
Assistant Professor
Biological Scientist
Extension Associate

"We address the issues surrounding expanding
urban areas and to understand forest
ecosystems in and around urban areas and their
multiple functions."
Check Out Our Web Site


Conservation 1" A ,

UniversityI oFli

EHEC,- E lantEiE. Campus
1 .200 N. Park I


Dr. Michael G. Andreu
Dr. Francisco Escobedo
Melissa H. Friedman
Jennifer A. Seitz

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