Comparing the vigor and mortality of juvenile residential trees in three Massachusetts 'Gateway Cities'

Authors: Yeannet Ruiz*, , John Rogan, Clark University , Deborah Martin, Clark University , Nick Geron, Clark University
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Urban forests, Greening the Gateway Cities, Tree mortality, Tree species, residential juvenile trees.
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Urban greening through the expansion of tree canopy is recognized as an effective approach to urban heat island (UHI) mitigation. UHI mitigation relies on tree cover reaching maximum crown width and leaf area, which elevates the importance of newly planted trees reaching maturity. The Massachusetts Greening the Gateway Cities (GGC) program was launched in 2013 and aims to expand urban tree canopy in select environmental justice neighborhoods and throughout 26 cities. The purpose of the GGC program is provide energy efficiency and other benefits that tree cover provides to residents to low-income residents living in older housing stock. To understand why and how juvenile trees reach maturity, it is important to explore the socio-environmental factors that impact the health of newly planted trees. This study examines juvenile residential tree vigor and survivorship rates for a variety of species in relation to planting season and site conditions in a Worcester, Fall River and Chicopee. Results show that Worcester had a survivorship 77.6% with a good vigor of.87%, while Fall River and Chicopee both had a 92% survivorships with a good vigor of 90% and 86%. The results of this study will help inform the planting regime of GGC program, as well as city and nonprofit planting initiatives, to understand the factors affecting the vigor and survivorship of young urban trees. The findings can also help identify the most robust tree species urban tree planting in the Northeast US.

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