Appropriate tree selection is an important part of retaining the health of our urban forests. We recently surveyed 121 arborists in the Intermountain Western region of the U.S. regarding their top ten choices for urban trees in their area. We also asked about the environmental and cultural factors they use in making tree selection decisions. Factors such as cold hardiness, drought tolerance, and insect/disease resistance ranked high among environmental factors. Factors such as aesthetic values, availability, ease of establishment, and maintenance requirements were also important. We will discuss the significance of past experience and contemplation of future challenges in the tree selection decision-making process for urban forest resilience.
Dr. Kratsch has 20 years of experience working on issues related to stress factors in trees and shrubs. Her current work is focused on the impact of urban heat islands on trees, and the role of trees and other landscape vegetation in mitigating this phenomenon. She is also interested in strategies for marketing social change, and has used a variety of methods to help citizens move towards positive behavior related to urban landscape sustainability.