Using Computer Simulation to Plan a Sustained-Yield Urban Forest

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Quantitative, benefit-based forest management goals can be a means to increase public understanding of, and support for, urban tree programs. The city of Palo Alto, California, recently adopted summer pavement shading as a street tree performance standard. The authors developed a method to determine planting and removal rates capable of sustaining street tree populations that shade a specified minimum percentage of public pavement on a block-by-block basis. A mathematical model to simulate street trees in an area was constructed and adapted for use with a microcomputer. The user enters data on extent and geometry of pavement surface, on expected tree performance, and on size and species composition of the urban forest. Outputs are percentage of pavement shaded and annual planting and removal rates by tree type. The model was used to support an increase in Palo Alto's street tree planting from 250 to 1,250 trees per year.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Philosopher, Staff Members of Magic, Inc., in Stanford, CA, Where they Research and Teach Human Ecology

Publication date: June 1, 1985

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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