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Publication Information

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Title: Homeowner interactions with residential trees in urban areas

Author: Dilley, Jana; Wolf, Kathleen L.;

Date: 2013

Source: Arboriculture and Urban Forestry. 39(6): 267-277

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Urban forests are a critical element in sustainable urban areas because of the many environmental, economic, and social benefits that city trees provide. In order to increase canopy cover in urban areas, residential homeowners, who collectively own the majority of the land in most cities, need to engage in planting and retaining trees on their properties. This collaborative research project surveyed homeowners in Seattle, Washington, U.S., to examine their behaviors and attitudes toward the trees on their property. Attitudes toward trees were mapped to examine geographic distribution, as Seattle has a legacy of neighborhood-based planning. Results show that homeowners planted trees during non-optimal times of the year, preferred trees that are small at maturity over trees that are large at maturity, and showed increased interest in fruit trees. Homeowners intend to plant fewer trees in the future than they have in the past. This research is a model for social science efforts that can be used to develop targeted public outreach programs at the neighborhood scale to increase the planting and retention of trees on residential property.

Keywords: benefits, canopy cover, fruit trees, homeowner, human dimensions, neighborhood planning, private property, tree planting, Seattle, Washington

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Dilley, Jana; Wolf, Kathleen L. 2013. Homeowner interactions with residential trees in urban areas. Arboriculture and Urban Forestry. 39(6): 267-277.


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