New products providing guidance on urban tree monitoring

The USDA (US Department of Agriculture) has announced the release of new products providing guidance on urban tree monitoring. These guides are designed around the collection of longitudinal field data – tracking the fate of individual trees – and will enable urban tree professionals to assess mortality and survival rates, tree growth rates, vigor changes, and population size changes:

Urban Tree Monitoring: A Field Guide provides detailed field protocols for a limited suite of variables, including trunk diameter and location, which we call the Minimum Data Set. The Field Guide includes a cheat sheet and sample data collection sheet.

Urban Tree Monitoring: A Resource Guide provides in-depth discussion of tips and strategies for designing and implementing a monitoring project. The Resource Guide includes guidance about consistently defining “tree”, potential ways to expand beyond the Minimum Data Set, training field crews, and structuring longitudinal databases.

These two documents grew from the input of many arborists and researchers affiliated with the Urban Tree Growth & Longevity Working Group of the International Society of Arboriculture.

There are also five training videos available that provide broad overviews of best practices for monitoring:


These products represent a collaboration between the USDA Forest Service and many university contributors.