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Arboriculture & Urban Forestry Online
Volume 40, Issue 3 — May 2014

Comparison of Tree Condition and Value for City Parks and Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, U.S.    (View PDF)

David L. Kulhavy, Di Wu, Daniel R. Unger, I-Kuai Hung, and Jianghua Sun

Abstract: Trees in landscapes are valued for physical as well as aesthetic benefits and biodiversity. Trees on a university campus and in city parks also help to provide an environment in which students and visitors can study and relax. A critical decision facing urban foresters, arborists, and planners involves deciding when an existing tree should be removed and replaced; it is a decision often based on an evaluation of the tree’s health, condition, and safety concerns. This project surveyed a total of 3,335 trees with 79 species on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University (Nacogdoches, Texas, U.S.) and 1,572 trees with 44 species in Nacogdoches city parks. Tree health and replacement values of the two groups were statistically compared, as were the diversities of the two. Finally, the tree health conditions and distributions were spatially analyzed using a geographic information system. Although there was statistical evidence indicating that the campus trees were significantly healthier than the city park trees, neither of their biodiversity status was desirable. It is important to identify and remove trees with extensive wood decay and introduce new species when performing forest maintenance and management.

Keywords: Biodiversity; Campus; City Park; CTLA Method; Geographic Information Systems; Hazard Rating; Inventory; Risk Assessment; Species Diversity; Texas; Tree Valuation.

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