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Urban forests

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Tree plotter inventory project

Learning how to inventory your city's trees is a great way to work outside. Below you can view the webinar videos about the tree plotter inventory software. Please check out the FAQs or contact the program to learn how to get started!

Tree plotter inventory software webinar #1

Tree plotter inventory software webinar #2

Sharing a love of trees during the pandemic

Late spring in Oregon with its long hours of daylight and warmer weather is a great time of the year to share your love of trees with your community. Although the people who care for urban trees are busy watering, pruning, and performing other day-to-day maintenance tasks, with trees leafed out and some still in flower, the weeks before summer are great times of the year even during our pandemic to celebrate and educate others about the many benefits trees provide.

Adding a few fun education and outreach activities into your summer work plan helps raise awareness of trees and your program at a time when a lot of residents have more time on their hands because of COVID-19. You can reach an even larger audience by joining forces with other programs and non-profits in your area.

Here are some good examples that residents of your community can engage in from home or alone at a safe physical distance from others:

1. Tree tours – Self-guided or online

  • Solicit suggestions from community members to locate favorite trees in your town, then: 
    • Create an online tour to showcase trees by taking photos and posting descriptions.
    • Create and print a brochure with a map for a self-guided city tree tour. Partner with a food delivery service to include one with deliveries in neighborhoods near the tour route.

2. Tree stories

  • Collect stories about historic or prominent community trees and partner with the local newspaper to publish a “tree of the month" article.
  • Research the history of a prominent local tree and consider nominating them as a heritage tree for your city or even with the state-level Heritage Tree program

3. Team up with your community's parks or recreation department

  • Offer an online tree identification webinar.
  • Host a Zoom meeting about tree art – discuss how people can go find twigs, leaves, and branches in their yards or nearby (without damaging trees) and create interesting collages or other artwork.

(Hint: Check out ideas on ODF's Instagram page which is running ideas for tree-related activities for kids every Friday through August.)

4. Partner with local or regional arborists

  • Hold online workshops explaining tree care or maintenance, proper pruning or tree watering, etc.
  • Hold a photo contest that highlights park trees in your community. The contest winner might receive a tree, planted on their behalf in their favorite park next spring. (Hint: Tree City USA Arbor Day grants can pay for trees planted for Arbor Day events.)
  • Work with a local bookstore to hold a “poe-tree" contest; display selected poems in large type in the store window or in City Hall. (Hint: Haiku poems are short and easy to fit on a single sheet.)

This short list may help stir up some ideas about how you can involve your community in the joy and benefits provided by trees, while raising the visibility of your city's urban forestry program and the importance of caring for the community forest.

Arbor Day Foundation waives Arbor Day celebration requirement

Because of concerns about public gatherings this spring, The Arbor Day Foundation is not requiring Tree City USA communities or Tree Campus USA schools to celebrate Arbor Day in 2020 (Standard 4) as a condition of their annual recertification applications in December 2020. When the threat from the coronavirus abates, communities who wish may proclaim Arbor Day at a time when it is safe to do so. They can then submit the usual information (photos, clips, posts, etc.) as a completion of Standard 4, but it is not required.

About urban forests

Urban forests are the trees in the cities and neighborhoods where we live. The urban forest includes trees along streets, in parks and natural areas, and in your own backyard. Urban forests provide many important environmental, social, and economic benefits and services too.

Urban forestry is the care and management of these trees in cities. Many cities have an urban forestry or other tree care program that manages trees along city streets and in parks.

ODF's Urban and Community Forestry Program provides assistance to communities committed to their urban trees, or looking to improve and expand their urban forestry programs. Contact an Urban and Community Assistance Forester to learn how your city can become more involved in urban forestry activities.

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Prepare for invasive forest insects and diseases



Urban & Community Forestry Program
Private Forests Division
2600 State Street
Salem, OR 97310

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