The Forestry Source - June 2017 - 7
little shocked to come back home and find
out this wasn't always the case. Everybody
has different opinions about trees. [So] you
really need good people out there who are
outgoing, communicative, want to be in
the city, and really know their tree stuff.
That's a hard thing to find."
Besides having talented personnel, it
was also vital for TreeBaltimore to have
sound ecological data and a deep knowledge of local issues, so it could customize
its message to the expressed needs of each
neighborhood, block, and front yard. The
group learned that the first step in a successful urban afforestation plan was to talk
to the locals before planting trees or trying
to "sell" the benefits of trees.
"We could have gone with expert
planning, but we thought it was best to engage the citizens," said Mike Galvin, a local
arborist and part-time project coordinator
for the Forest Service's urban forestry programs in Baltimore. "We get stakeholders
together and ask them, 'Why would you
want trees here?'"
A popular answer, said Galvin, is that
trees reduce the urban heat island effect.
Groups like TreeBaltimore could then bolster this information with Forest Service
data on average temperatures throughout
the city. In other words, they can prioritize
hot neighborhoods as places where trees
could most benefit the community.
In theory, this is how urban forestry
groups decide where to plant trees in an
environment with limited resources-they
choose places where trees can do the most
social and/or ecological good. In practice, according to Galvin, there are always
tradeoffs between putting trees in the places they're most needed and getting them
in the ground anywhere possible, in order
to satisfy the time-sensitive needs of local
What to Plant?
In an urban setting, as in all forestry settings, picking which tree species goes
where is a combination of science, art, and
logistics. Site-specific factors limit the tree
species that will work, but there are many
other elements to consider, including forester and citizen preference.
"If you ask everybody at our office
what tree they'd like to see more of, you'll
probably get a lot of different answers,"
Murphy said. "Personally, I'm partial to
Urban foresters try their best to keep
a high proportion of native trees in the
streets and parks. Oaks are popular park
trees for their grand size and structure.
Sycamores do well in the streets and have
very attractive bark. Serviceberries and
redbuds are commonly planted under
power lines, for their beautiful flowers and
Some exotic trees are also quite popular; some are more street-hardy than the
native choices, and they can add diversity
in circumstances that limit choice.
"You can only plant so many redbuds
and serviceberries before you start looking
for another short, flowering tree," Murphy
said. "We plant a lot of [Japanese] cherries
According to Murphy, it often comes
down to knowing that an exotic species
will definitely thrive in a tough site when
Logs from urban trees are brought to Baltimore's Camp Small, where some of them find new life as lumber and other high-value wood products. Camp Small's yardmaster, Shaun Preston, standing in the foreground, has helped change practices within the city by having loggers remove high-value trees in eight- or ten-foot lengths;
logs of this length or longer have more value. Photo courtesy of Sarah Hines.
there's a question about the long-term viability of a native. Therefore, a lot of ginkgos and zelkovas are planted in very tough
street environments. Exotics with a proven
record of becoming invasive are, of course,
avoided. Ailanthus, or "tree-of-heaven," is
a good example of a formerly popular species that has fallen far out of favor for this
Grove said that climate change should
play a role in deciding which species of
trees to grow at the nursery. Ideally, cities
should select species that likely will fare
well in the anticipated future climate.
Species selection can also be used to
address infrastructure problems. Grove
said that high-transpiration species can
reduce the load on a city's stormwater systems. In general, diffuse-porous trees that
grow large-like some species of maple
and sycamore-are good for this task.
Beauty in the plantings is also an important consideration, which is why flowering trees are so popular. And it is often
beauty that inspires urbanites to ask more
questions about the functions of nature.
Urban Connections to Traditional
Researchers at the Baltimore Field Station
often talk about the "gateway forest" phenomenon, in which a very small woodlot
gradually leads to more comfort outdoors
and more connection with nature. Anecdotally, this is how many urbanites become
Aaron Everett, the former state forester for Washington State, talked about
this effect last fall in the World Forestry Center's Hagenstein Lecture Series in
Portland (the lecture is available at www
.hagensteinlectures.org). He grew up in the
heart of Detroit, with no relatives working
in natural-resources fields, but when it was
time to go to college, he chose to study forestry at Michigan Tech, deep in the North
Woods. He said it all started with a few
"When I was little, we had a tiny strip
of woods in the backyard," Everett said.
"Not much more than some uncleared
brush and a few maples along a fence line
that survived the developers. But for me,
it was enough to bring to life my first little
spark of forestry. A spark of connection,
of imagination, of adventure-a sense of
unexplored reaches of the world and of
wonder at small things that made this little
wisp of remnant forest come alive as something a part of something bigger."
Everett's story serves as an inspirational tale, but the power of small urban
woodlots can also make a big difference in
the lives and opinions of many people who
will rarely see the countryside.
"A lot of people never leave the city
they grow up in," Murphy said. "When you
have such a large portion of the population
living in urban areas, getting the kids outside there is very important. That's the only
woods they're going to walk through."
Urban forestry may be a big piece of
the puzzle to solving the disconnect between society and natural-resources management. Street trees and parks are very
important places for many metropolitan
kids to start appreciating nature. Efforts
such as Baltimore's 40 percent urban tree
canopy goal can increase access to these
amenities, and thus the number of kids exposed to them.
As far as meeting that 40 percent goal,
the citizens of Baltimore are eagerly awaiting the results of the Forest Service's next
inventory, which is due soon.
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR - SILVICULTURE
Competition No. - A108232676
Closing Date - Jul 15, 2017
The Department of Renewable Resources, in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences,
University of Alberta, Canada, invites applications for a tenure track position as an Assistant Professor in
Silviculture. Qualifications are a PhD, with strong interest and demonstrated experience in the science of
silviculture and its applications in sustainable forest management. One degree in forestry will be an asset.
We seek an academic who conducts field-based experimental research in silviculture and stand dynamics
with a focus on forest types common to Alberta and other parts of western Canada. Complementary expertise
in one or more of the following areas would be an asset: growth and yield modelling, remote sensing, forest
operations, forest pathology, or forest management.
The successful candidate will be expected to develop a program of independent research and graduate student
education, including a balanced portfolio of 'pure' and 'applied' research strong enough to successfully attract
competitive funding from a variety of sources. Development of collaborative relations with colleagues in the
department, in other units at UofA, and at other institutions is expected. The successful candidate must
demonstrate leadership in development of strong relationships, including collaborative research and knowledge
exchange activities, with industry and government partners in the natural resource sector with the aim of
providing innovative solutions to current issues in sustainable forest management.
The Faculty emphasizes excellence in teaching; evidence of prior teaching experience, novel approaches, and
interest in alternative teaching methods is desirable. Teaching responsibilities will include regular courses and
field courses in the BSc Forestry and BSc Forest Business Management programs, the BSc Environmental and
Conservation Sciences program, and in the Department's course-based Masters of Forestry, and thesis-based
MSc and PhD programs. In addition to silviculture, an interest in/ability to teach in any of the following areas
would be an asset: forest measurements, growth and yield, forest operations, forest management. Applicants
who are Registered Professional Foresters or who have the credentials to obtain that designation in Alberta will
be favourably considered.
An application package, including a cover letter, description of research and teaching interests, curriculum
vitae, teaching dossier, and names of three referees should be submitted (upload as a single PDF file) online at:
The Committee welcomes applications at any time and will begin considering candidates on July 15, 2017,
continuing until the position is filled. Candidates selected for an interview can expect to be informed during the
month following the closing date with all applicants being informed once the position has been filled. Additional
information about the Renewable Resources Department and our research, undergraduate and graduate
programs is available at: http://www.rr.ualberta.ca/
To assist the University in complying with mandatory reporting requirements of the Immigration and
Refugee Protection Act (R203(3) (e)), please include the first digit of your Canadian Social Insurance
Number in your application. If you do not have a Canadian Social Insurance Number, please indicate this in
All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.
The University of Alberta is committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We welcome applications from
all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups;
persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may
contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply.