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Compendium of Best Urban Forest Management Practices

Chapter 8. Species Selection and Planting

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Species Selection and Planting

Selecting the appropriate tree species and location for planting is imperative to sustaining a healthy urban forest, providing for a cost effective urban forestry program, and providing acceptable urban forest solutions to neighbourhoods and communities. Tree species should be considered based on aesthetic appeal, hardiness zone, size, form, and site conditions of the growing location. To minimize conflicts and reduce maintenance needs, trees should be visualized at full functional size when surveying a potential site for planting. Selecting a tree that is well suited to the soil conditions, light availability, pedestrian traffic, drainage, space and microclimate of the specific site is essential to the tree’s long-term survival and to public safety.

Canadian online resources:

Non-Canadian online resources:

Further reading:

Almas, A. D. & Conway, T. M. (2016). The role of native species in urban forest planning and practice: A case study of Carolinian Canada. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 17, 54-62.

Conway, T. M. & Vander Vecht, J. (2015). Growing a diverse urban forest: Species selection decisions by practitioners planting and supplying trees. Landscape and Urban Planning, 138, 1-10.

Gerstenberg, T. & Hofmann, M. (2016). Perception and preference of trees: A psychological contribution to tree species selection in urban areas. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 15, 103-111.

Sjöman, H., Hirons, A. D., & Bassuk, N. L. (2015). Urban forest resilience through tree selection—Variation in drought tolerance in Acer. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 14(4), 858-865.


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