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Compendium of Best Urban Forest Management Practices

Chapter 4. Strategic and Operational Management Planning

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Strategic and Operational Management Planning

Conservation of trees in the urban environment can be achieved effectively through the development and implementation of a strategic urban forest management plan that standardizes policies and practices surrounding activities related to trees. In Canada, urban forest management plans tend to focus on individual tree maintenance, educational programs, and enhancing canopy cover and tree species diversity. Additional considerations for strategic and operational management may include the use of native species, the connectivity of the urban forest, climate change, community stewardship, and providing economic incentives (Ordóñez & Duinker, 2013). A paper by Kenney, van Wassenaer, & Satel (2011) identifies 25 criteria for determining the success of the urban forest, including tree habitat suitability, city staffing, and regional cooperation, as well as performance indicators and key objectives for each criterion. A comprehensive urban forest management plan that considers diverse performance indicators will help ensure a healthy, sustainable urban forest.

Canadian municipal urban forest management plans:

Non-Canadian online resources:

Further reading:

Kenney, W. A., van Wassenaer, P. J. E., & Satel, A. L. (2011). Criteria and Indicators for Strategic Urban Forest Planning and Management. Arboriculture & Urban Forestry, 37(3), 108-117. Retrieved from

Miller, R. W., Hauser, R. J., & Werner, L. P. (2015). Urban Forestry: Planning and Managing Urban Greenspaces (3rd ed.). Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, Inc.

Ordóñez, C. & Duinker, P. N. (2013). An analysis of urban forest management plans in Canada: Implications for urban forest management. Landscape and Urban Planning, 116, 36-47.


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