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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Exploring the Urban Forest

Sharon Jean-Philippe, Assistant ProfessorCollege of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources - Urban Forestry

​Urban ecosystems have unique problems and are difficult to study. Because their disturbance history is often unknown, there are multiple stresses that may be difficult to differentiate in urban forests, and the characteristics of the urban soils are quite different than those found in rural forests. Trees in urban environments are chosen to enhance and beautify cities, but are also called upon to: 1) adapt to poor soils that have often been polluted; 2) compete with grass for nutrients and water; 3) develop roots under impervious surfaces, like concrete; 4) resist disease and insect pressures; and 5) endure abuse from automobiles, lawnmowers, pests, and people. This presentation examines urban forests from an economic, environmental, and management perspective, specifically focusing on understanding the below-ground soil environment in which urban trees grow and how to mitigate stressors in urban soils.

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