Ecological Considerations and Application of Urban Tree Selection in Massachusetts

Ashley McElhinney
Trees provide countless environmental, economic, and societal benefits to the urban environment, and may become increasingly important to maintaining environmental quality and human well-being in the face of increasing urbanization and climate change. However, trees in these urban areas are rapidly diminishing across the United States. Much of this loss can be prevented with proper planning and management, focused on selecting tree species that are both well-suited to the area's growing
more » ... ns and able to survive the many stress factors in an urban setting. Choosing which tree species to plant in Massachusetts is especially challenging considering the lack of resources specific to the state's growing conditions and the urban environment. I conduct a literature review to answer two research questions: (1) What ecological considerations should be made before tree selection, and (2) Which species should be planted in the urban environments of Massachusetts. My results yielded a comprehensive guide, in book form, detailing the five ecological considerations I recommend to make before selection, and profiles of 75 tree species recommended to plant in these areas. This book may act as a resource for tree wardens and homeowners to help choose the best species for their specific planting site, prompt other states to create or update their own state-specific selection guide, and encourage tree nurseries to grow and distribute favorable species, ultimately providing their communities with the benefits that trees provide.
doi:10.7275/14223424 fatcat:wiz2obnukjbb5c3h6rh5icfkse