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Title: A municipal forest report card: Results for California, USA

Author: McPherson, E.Gregory; Kotow, Louren;

Date: 2013

Source: Urban Forestry & Urban Greening. 12: 134-143

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: This study integrates two existing computer programs, the Pest Vulnerability Matrix and i-Tree Streets, into a decision-support tool for assessing municipal forest stability and recommending strategies to mitigate risk of loss. A report card concept was developed to communicate levels of performance in terms that managers and the public easily understand. Grades were assigned to four aspects of a stable and resilient municipal forest: Species Dominance, Age Structure, Pest Threat and Potential Asset Loss. The data pool of 29 California municipal forest inventories contained information on 836,943 trees. Letter grades (A–F) were assigned to the four criteria and each city received customized recommendations for improving its grades. Three inventories received final grades of As, 18 received Bs, 6 Cs and 2 Ds. Twelve inventories received their highest grade for Species Dominance. Thirteen inventories received their lowest grade for Age Structure, largely because juvenile trees were underrepresented. Pest Threat received the lowest grade in 11 inventories and reduce Pest Threat was the top priority recommendation in 18 inventories. Four multi-host pests posed the greatest risk: Granulate ambrosia beetle, Asian longhorned beetle, Armillaria root rot and red palm weevil. Sycamore/plane was the most vulnerable taxon, followed by oaks, ash and eucalyptus. Eliminating or limiting the use of highly vulnerable tree species was recommended in nearly every city to reduce Pest Threat and improve Species Dominance. Increased planting of vacant sites with species not vulnerable to the most abundant and severe pests was a frequent recommendation for improving Age Structure. Another common recommendation to improve Age Structure was planned removal and replacement of overabundant mature and senescent taxa such as pear, eucalyptus, jacaranda and carrotwood.

Keywords: Age structure, Pests, Species dominance, Species adaptability, Stability, Species diversity

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



McPherson, E.Gregory; Kotow, Louren. 2013. A municipal forest report card: Results for California, USA. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening. 12: 134-143.


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