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
The Sand Live Oak, Quercus geminata, is an evergreen species of oak native to the southeast United States. It can be found around coastal areas, upland pine forests and in dry sandy hardwood hammocks. What you might also notice is that this is a dead sand live oak tree. This tree is one of many dead sand live oaks in Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park located in Jacksonville along one of the area beaches. Unfortunately these trees succumbed to salt water intrusion during Hurricane Matthew’s storm surge.
In honor of Halloween, for this month's tree we wanted to showcase that even dead trees can have tremendous value. Dead trees are an important part of any ecosystem and bring a multitude of ecological services that no living tree can. It’s important to keep dead trees in our urban forests. Many bird species require dead and decaying wood in order make homes and are very particular about what trees they will nest in. A host of small mammals also utilize dead trees for their homes and nesting sites. Insects utilize dead and decaying wood as well and these insects make up a large portion of the diet for many species of birds and mammals.
Without dead and decaying trees in our ecosystem and urban forests our wildlife populations would suffer to a much greater degree than most people realize. As urban foresters we try and keep these valuable dead trees wherever appropriate. Just because a tree is dead does not mean it does not add value to our urban forest.
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National Arbor Day 2020
National Arbor Day is always celebrated on the last Friday in April, but many states observe Arbor Day on different dates throughout the year based on best tree planting times in their area.
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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."