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Quantifying Growth and Establishment of Trees Planted in Residential Settings

Principal Investigator/Project Leader: 
Co-Principal Investigator/Co-Project Leader: 
Department of Project: 
Environmental Conservation Dept.
Project Description: 

The value of trees planted in residential settings has been well documented (Shroeder et al. 2006; McPherson et al. 2007), but value is only realized if trees grow to maturity. The same settings where trees provide benefits, however, present challenging and even severe growing conditions that may thwart survival and growth (Jutras et al. 2010). Empirical data to describe the survival and growth of such trees are limited, and most of the work has considered trees growing in field plots rather than actual residential settings (Watson et al. 1986; Morgenroth 2011). Data recently collected in Boston, Massachusetts revealed interesting trends that contradicted some of the conventional wisdom (Sherman 2013). Expanding this work into Springfield, Mass., which has an ongoing, large-scale tree-planting program will help to 1) assess whether trends in Boston are applicable to other cities in Massachusetts and 2) quantify survival and growth of trees in residential settings. The long-term goal of this work is to gather more empirical data that will help practitioners decide which trees to choose for a particular site.