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Urban Forestry


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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.

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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Request your 630-CITY trees today!
If you have space on the City right of way and would like the City of Jacksonville to plant new trees please call 630-CITY or request through the online portal and our urban foresters will reach out to you.
Jacksonville awarded two accolades from Florida Urban Forestry Council
The City of Jacksonville's Urban Forestry Program was awarded the Outstanding Professional Award for Richard Leon, Jacksonville's Urban Forestry Manager, as well as the Outstanding Project for the 630-CITY Tree Planting Project.
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Tree Sapling

Richard Leon - Full BioRichard 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 BioDalton Smith - Full Bio
Urban Forester
"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."
Kathleen McGovern - Full BioKathleen McGovern - Full Bio
City Arborist
"Reversing deforestation is complicated; planting a tree is simple." – Martin O’Malley
Todd Little - Full BioTodd 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.