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Pittsburgh Urban Forest Master Plan

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Under the direction of Tree Pittsburgh, Davey Resource Group (DRG) prepared the Pittsburgh Urban Forest Master Plan: A Road Map for the Effective Management of Our Urban Forest in 2012. The plan, which recognizes that the relationship between trees and people and places is vital, outlines goals and recommendations to achieve the community’s 20-year vision for its urban forest.

In 2005, DRG began a series of inventories and analyses for the City of Pittsburgh, which provided the data that would ultimately contribute to the 2012 state of the urban forest section within the master plan. Davey first conducted a street tree inventory and management plan that year, which renewed interested in urban forestry management across the city. Since then, DRG has conducted park tree inventories and cost benefit analyses that support a city-wide investment in trees.

In 2008, DRG input its data findings in i-Tree and determined the total value of annual benefits for the city’s street trees was more than $2.4 million – a return on investment of $2.94 for every $1 spent on tree care. The DRG team also calculated the city’s ecosystem analysis findings in 2011, when team members sampled the entire urban forest—approximately 2.6 million trees—using i-Tree Eco.

The data DRG collected helped the entire network of urban forestry partners conclude its investment in trees was worthwhile. Tree Pittsburgh’s Urban Forest Master Planning Symposium launched the master planning process in 2010, and shortly thereafter, DRG began preparing the Urban Forest Master Plan in collaboration with Tree Pittsburgh and the master plan steering committee.

Looking ahead, Tree Pittsburgh plans to update the city’s State of the Urban Forest every few years using updated i-Tree and/or future urban forest assessment tools to measure the progress of the plan’s implementation efforts. DRG will continue to provide technical assistance throughout the process.

Tree Pittsburgh is an environmental non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the City’s vitality by restoring and protecting the city’s trees.

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