A Methodology for Building Community Leader Support for Good Tree Care

Michael S. Orfanedes


Good urban tree canopy does not happen by itself. Rather, it must be planned for by people who place a high value on trees, have a vision for building an urban forest and have the time and resources needed to make their vision reality. Transforming a personal vision for tree canopy into reality at the community level requires community buy-in. Stakeholders and decision makers in the community must share the vision or at least support it in order for that vision to become reality. Building support for community tree canopy begins with education and a community landscape committee is a good way to start. Volunteers plan and conduct outreach to teach others in the community, especially decision makers, about the value and beauty of trees, the important environmental services they provide and the best practices needed to establish and maintain them. The committee can also communicate ideas for beautification projects, identify maintenance needs, and make observations about contractor performance to property managers and the board of directors. This presentation will focus on one South Florida community’s journey to rebuild its canopy in the aftermath of Hurricane Wilma and the role that outreach and an active landscape committee played to achieve that goal.


tree canopy, urban forest, structural pruning, stem girdling roots

Full Text:



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Gilman E.F., M.L. Duryea, E. Kämpf, T.J. Partin, A. Delgado, and C.J. Lehtola. 2006. Assessing damage and restoring trees after a hurricane. University of Florida IFAS Ext. Publ. No. ENH 1036.

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283