Would you like to view this page in desktop format? YesNo
Urban Forestry


Main Content

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 tree of the month for November is the bald cypress. The bald cypress, Taxodium distichum, is a native deciduous conifer. It is one of the very few conifers in the United States that loses its leaves every fall, hence the name ‘bald cypress’. Before losing all its leaves it has amazing fall color that can be seen during the fall months. Most are turning red and brown right now offering some color to our mostly evergreen urban forest. The bald cypress thrives in swampy, wet areas and outcompetes most other species in this ecosystem creating large cypress domes that can be witness in some of our local parks. One of the iconic traits to the bald cypress are the cypress knees which are actually portions of the roots that grow out of the ground and produce these ‘knees’ around the tree. Although their function isn’t completely understood, some scientists hypothesize that they aid in obtaining oxygen when situated in wet conditions and constantly have their roots underwater. This long-lived, slow growing species of cypress makes a very good urban tree, as can be seen from the photo of one of the cypress trees at the local Willowbranch Library. Because they are so hardy and do well in low oxygen situation they make a very good tree in urban settings when trees have to deal with more stress than those in nature. For an example of some newly planted median bald cypresses, take a stroll down to the planting project on King Street that was put in this past summer and enjoy their fall color before they drop their leaves.
Read MoreRead More
The City of Jacksonville and Groundwork Jacksonville Awarded 2019 TD Green Space Grant
The City of Jacksonville partnered along with Groundwork Jacksonville have been awarded the 2019 TD Green Space Grant for the Biodiversity Corridor project along Jacksonville's S-Line.
City will plant tree in front of your home for free
In an effort to make Jacksonville green again, the 630-CITY Tree Planting Program is giving homeowners the ability to give back to the environment while beautifying their yards.
National Arbor Day 2020
National Arbor Day 2020 April 24, 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.
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
"To exist as a nation, to prosper as a state, to live as a people, we must have trees." - Theodore Roosevelt