Koeser, A.K., E.F. Gilman, M. Paz and C. Harchick

Factors influencing urban tree planting program growth and survival in Florida, United States

Urban Forestry & Urban Greening. In Press


High levels of mortality after installation can limit the long-term benefits associated with urban tree planting initiatives. Past planting projects funded by the Florida Forest Service were revisited two to five years after installation to document tree survival and growth and assess program success. Additionally, various site (e.g., soil compaction, installed irrigation) and tree-related (e.g., species, nursery production method, initial size at planting) factors were noted to assess their impact on tree growth. Results show that the overall establishment rate for the 26 sites ( n = 2354 trees) was high, with 93.6% of trees alive at the time of final inspection. On-site irrigation played a significant role in tree survival and growth, especially for Magnolia grandiflora (97.7% survival on irrigated sites; 73.8% survival on non-irrigated sites). Findings from this work validate the effectiveness of current program policies which include maintenance of tree quality within the first year after planting, and offer further insights regarding the impacts of season of planting and initial size of nursery stock on plant growth and development.

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