The Urban Forestry Program at the City of Jacksonville strives to provide the community with a healthy urban forest. Urban Forestry is the practice of managing single trees, tree populations, and all associated vegetation making up the crucial portion of a city’s green infrastructure. Just as engineers and city planners manage the roads and bridges in your community, your Urban Foresters and City Arborists manage the trees in the City of Jacksonville. The Urban Forestry Team achieves these goals by maintaining the tree canopy in a city, planting new trees, conducting research, and working with the local community in order to maximize the benefits that the City receives from our urban forest. These benefits include reducing urban heat island effect, reducing stormwater runoff, filtering the air we breathe, providing wildlife habitat, and much more.
TREE OF THE MONTH
December's Tree of the Month is the Southern Red Cedar, Juniperus virginiana, native evergreen seen across Jacksonville and offered as one of the trees for our 630-CITY Tree Planting Program.
The red cedar is part of the cypress family and this specimen is native to Florida and the southeastern coastal ranges of North America. They can be seen pretty commonly across Jacksonville, just keep your eyes open to the color and specific bark. It keeps its small scale-like leaves year round offering a lush, green, dense canopy. It is sometimes used as screen or wind break because of the shape and form they can obtain, easily growing wider than tall if given the space. The wood is also very fragrant, giving off a strong cedar smell for the holidays and being an natural insect repellent. This native tree offers some wildlife habitat and food but be sure not to plant if you have apple or pear trees in your landscape as these are host plants to cedar-apple rust, a native fungal disease that can affect your fruit. Because of their hardiness and attractive form these can be nice landscape trees if you have the space and right soil conditions.
New 630-CITY Program Advertisement
Check out this new video advertising our 630-CITY tree planting program! Once you watch the video, you can submit a request to have a free tree planted within your right of way.
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Richard Leon - Full Bio
Urban Forestry Manager
“The most rewarding part of my job is enhancing the environment as well as the quality of life for the residents of Duval County by incorporating the natural world into the man-built world through proper urban forest management and planning.”
Dalton Smith - Full Bio
"Just as a forest is comprised of many different trees to thrive, our urban forestry team brings together multiple disciplines in order to create a knowledgeable team and healthy urban forest."
Todd Little - Full Bio
Associate Urban Forester
As an urban forester, my job is to help the people of our city understand the significant benefits trees provide to us while also giving the trees a chance to provide these benefits. My goal is to help people understand that street trees are not a "nice thing to have" but instead a necessity to the lives of us humans, as well as those plants and animals that we share this urban ecosystem with.