Development of Urban Management Plans or Street Tree Master Plans
An ordinance and a tree inventory are the building blocks of any urban forestry program. But that isn't where the program stops. It is just as important, if not more so, to have a well defined plan on how the ordinance and inventory are going to be managed and incorporated into the goals of the community.
Following a street tree inventory, a management plan will result in a detailed document or set of documents, which outlines future management of the community's trees and forests. A management plan addresses the systematic planning, planting, protecting, conservation, storm damage mitigation, and/or maintenance of community trees. The plan should reflect the goals and objectives established by the City Forester, local tree board, and/or City Council.
Depending on your community's level of management, there are different levels of management plans. For example:
- An Urban Forest Master Plan or Strategic Plan establishes overall goals and objectives for the program and is often integrated with other comprehensive community plans. These are sometimes based on a satellite imagery study and GIS analysis, or other inventories and assessments, which sets goals for tree canopy cover in residential and commercial areas, recommends areas for reforestation, recommends areas for preservation, promotes community education and outreach efforts, and recommends tree maintenance policies for City or County properties.
- Street Tree Planting and Maintenance Plan based on an inventory of trees in street rights-of-way and parks. These types of plans include information such as a prioritized list of tree pruning and removals, a prioritized list of replacement and new tree plantings, a recommended yearly budget, and a recommended list of tree species for replanting.
- Regional Watershed Management Plan whose resource assessment includes specific analysis and management recommendations for the community's trees and forest resources. The plan includes management recommendations for vegetative buffers and invasive species in the community including areas for preservation and restoration.
- City Parks Vegetation Management Plan based on an inventory of park trees and invasive plants that includes a plan for the removal of invasive species, abatement of tree hazards and reforestation.
- Hazard Tree Reduction and Replanting Plan based on a survey of community commercial or residential rights-of-way.