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Arboriculture & Urban Forestry Online
Volume 11, Issue 11 — November 1985

Change in Street-Tree Composition of Two Urbana, Illinois Neighborhoods after Fifty Years: 1932-1982    (View PDF)

Jeffrey O. Dawson and Mushtaq A. Khawaja

Abstract: Street-tree inventories from 1932 and 1982 for two Urbana, Illinois neighborhoods were compared. Tree species with the greatest, total stem basal areas at breast height in 1932 were American and red elms (Ulmus americana and Ulmus rubra), eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides), silver maple {Acer saccharinum), and sugar maple [Acer saccharum). Tree species in the two neighborhoods with the greatest total basal areas in 1982 were silver maple, sugar maple, sycamore {(Platanus occidentalis), and hackberry {Celtis occidentalis). Trees that survived the fifty years included 24 silver maples, 24 sugar maples, 9 sycamores, and 8 hackberries. There were fewer but larger trees in these two Urbana neighborhoods after fifty years. The total basal area of trees decreased only 12% while the total number of trees decreased by 41%. Dominance of American and red elms along streets in these neighborhoods changed after fifty years to a more uniform distribution of basal areas and a greater variety of tree species. Between 1932 and 1982 Dutch elm disease, urban development, varying growth and mortality patterns of tree species, and changes in selections of tree species for planting probably resulted in the dramatic change in street-tree composition that occurred.


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