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Southron

Urban Forestry in Alabama

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Which Alabama cities have urban forestry departments? What have the urban forestry divisions planned and accomplished?

This thread was inspired by questions from Alabadrock and DruidCity in the Montgomery development thread.

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Mobile's Urban Forestry Section is part of the Urban Development Department. Link: http://urban.cityofmobile.org/forestry.php

Montgomery's Urban Forestry Division is part of the Planning and Development Department. Link: http://www.montgomeryal.gov/depts/planning...n-forestry.aspx

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Urban forester builds Montgomery tree canopy

Russell Stringer has directed the planting of over 3,000 trees since he was hired as Montgomery's first urban forester in 2004. The urban forestry division was created by Mayor Bobby Bright to offset a loss of trees in the city.

Stringer says the tree canopy reduces energy costs in the summer, and provides more attractive commercial areas, resulting in increased retail sales. Property values are higher in communities with lots of shade trees.

Stringer prefers to purchase trees native to Montgomery, resisting requests for trees popular in other areas, such as Mobile's live oaks.

Montgomery Advertiser: Urban forester keeps Capital City in the green

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Huntsville has had an urban forester for many years

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i'm looking into getting a grad degree in urban planning, yet i've never heard of urban forestry.

keep these interesting topics coming, expat.

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The article below is about assessing and repairing damage to trees from storm damage. However, what caught my eye was a sentence in the second paragraph. According to the article, Alabama cities and towns have more urban trees than any other state except Georgia.

As an Alabama native, I generally take the tree canopy for granted, but when travelling to other states the lack of trees in some cities brings on a sense of unease and the feeling that I'm out of place. I'm glad our urban foresters are at work building up the tree canopies in our major cities, making those cities more attractive to the eye and much more pleasant places to be in the summertime.

Mobile Press-Register:Preparing urban forests for storms

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Montgomery established a No Net Loss Tree Policy to ensure that whenever a city-owned tree dies, Montgomery's urban forester plants another one in its place. The city planted about 1,000 new trees last year, and lost 10 percent of them to this year's drought. All of the trees lost to the drought will be replaced.

Montgomery Advertiser: Program aims to preserve Montgomery trees

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Montgomery established a No Net Loss Tree Policy to ensure that whenever a city-owned tree dies, Montgomery's urban forester plants another one in its place.

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Some people are beyond ridiculous in this state when it comes to college football. :rolleyes:

On topic, I've noticed that about the forestry around here also. It is quite inviting to see the forestry around our cities.

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Montgomery's Urban Forestry Division recently posted its new street tree master plan on the city website. The plan, which provides a guide to the development of Montgomery's urban forest for the next twenty years, is available in .pdf format at the link below.

Street Tree Master Plan

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Overall it looks like a good plan...as long as it is followed. I have some problems with just a few things though.

Smaller tree species shall be planted under overhead utility lines to avoid potential hazards.

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In one area of the plan they mention you can plant larger trees under telephone and cable lines as long as it can be pruned to one side of the lines. This makes absolutely no sense. Who wants a one sided tree? They are ugly and I personally can't stand them...just cut the thing down and plant an understory tree.

....Over all though its a sound plan...

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Today's Mobile Press-Register included an article by Beau Brodbeck of the Baldwin County Extension office about providing proper soil conditions to sustain street trees.

According to the article, soil compaction required by engineers minimizes sinks and cracks in above-ground structures, but can lead to limited success in sustaining street trees. Two primary techniques are currently available to simultaneously support sidewalks and support tree growth: structured soils and suspended pavement. Structural soils are generally composed of 80% crushed rock, 20% soil, and materials that keep the soil from settling out of the mix over time. Suspended pavement suspends the sidewalk structure above a low-compacted soil mixture -- using columns and beams to support the deck surface.

Nice quote on the impact of street trees:

Economically, trees are known to increase real estate value by as much as 46 percent, increase business sales by 12 percent and reduce energy costs by as much as 23 percent. Environmentally, trees cool streets by as much as 10 to 20 degrees, reduce runoff by 28 percent and studies even indicate they reduce crime.

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