The Road to a Thoughtful Street Tree Master Plan

Principal Investigator(s):

Gary Johnson, Former Extension Professor, Forest Resources

Project summary:

The success or failure of many urban forestry projects is determined at the planning stage. A well-placed tree in a well-designed landscape will require less maintenance and yield more benefits for the community. This research developed a design manual to replace many of the subjective decisions made during street tree design and plant selection with objective criteria. The manual is intended to assist communities and planners in selecting the best trees for their available planting sites (if the sites can support trees), and also to use specific principles of street tree design to most effectively create public green spaces, positively affect traffic patterns, and create healthy living spaces. The format of the design manual is one of a "prompting questions matrix." It helps the user select the best plants for the area, and poses enough questions that issues of spacing, placement relative to travel corridors, and a wide variety of design elements can be resolved. The selection philosophy includes not only whether the tree is hardy enough, but whether it can achieve the design goals in its intended location.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2006039
  • Start date: 01/2006
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Environment and Energy
  • Topics: Planning