More cities are making room for trees in the urban environment. Trees soften the hard lines of manmade structures, add color, absorb excess noise, filter the air, provide shade, and may increase property values.
Urban forests of Tennessee are experiencing new demands and pressures as interest grows in greenways, heat islands, and storm water control. Encroachment by development, invasions of by insects like emerald ash borer, diseases such as thousand cankers disease of walnut and invasive plants like honeysuckle and privet, and problems with soil compaction threaten the health and vitality of urban forests.
The Urban & Community Forestry Program goal is to improve urban environments through planting and management of trees. It promotes the establishment of urban forestry programs in cities and towns, assists them in developing self-sustaining urban and community forestry programs, and provides technical assistance. The Urban Forestry Program provides the following services:
In addition to technical assistance, the urban forestry staff administers grants that help communities initiate or expand their local urban and forestry programs, and grants that help communities and non-profits plant trees on public land..
The urban forestry staff also serves as a liaison and provides assistance to the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council, a group of individuals and organizations promoting better tree care and improving urban environments.