American Forests, with grant support from the U.S. Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program, developed the Urban Forest Assessments Resource Guide to provide a framework for practitioners interested in doing urban forest ecosystem assessments. This guide is divided into three main sections designed to walk you through the process of selecting the best urban forest assessment tool for your needs and project. In this guide, you will find the following sections:

  • Urban Forest Management – explains urban forest management and the tools used for effective management
  • How to Choose an Urban Forest Assessment Tool – details the series of questions you need to answer before selecting a tool
  • Urban Forest Ecosystem Assessment Tools – offers descriptions and usage tips for the most common and popular assessment tools available

Over the years, a variety of assessment tools have been developed to help us better understand the benefits that urban forests provide and to quantify them into measurable metrics. The results they provide are extremely useful in helping to improve urban forest policies on all levels, inform planning and management, track environmental changes over time, and determine how trees affect the environment, which consequently enhances human health.

Trees in cities, a main component of a city’s urban forest, contribute significantly to human health and environmental quality. Urban forest ecosystem assessments are a key tool to help quantify the benefits that trees and urban forests provide, advancing our understanding of these valuable resources. That’s why American Forests is providing a step-by-step guide to urban forest assessments with a list of available tools and technologies.

For more information on American Forests’ urban assessments resource guide and other urban forest work, please visit

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