Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

E. Gregory McPherson

E. Gregory McPherson
Emeritus Scientist
Urban Ecosystems and Social Dynamics Program
1731 Research Park
Davis, CA 95618
United States
Current Research

Dr. Greg McPherson is a Research Forester with the USDA Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Research Station located in Davis, CA, Greg grew up under a canopy of American elm trees in Howell, Michigan. Despite attempts to save the trees, all were lost to Dutch elm disease, and having felt the sting of that loss he became a green accountant, developing new methods and tools for quantifying the value of nature's benefits from city trees. He works with a team of scientists to measure and model effects of trees on energy use, urban heat islands, air pollutant uptake, carbon sequestration, and rainfall interception. Their research is helping justify investments in urban forest planning and management. In 2000, Greg received the International Society of Arboriculture's L.C. Chadwick Award for Research. Greg was a co-founder and Chair of the Tree Growth and Longevity Working Group and serves on the California Urban Forest Advisory Council. He attended University of Michigan (BGS), Utah State University (Masters in Landscape Architecture), and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (Ph.D. Forestry).

Featured Publications
Other Publications
Research Highlights

New Model Predicts Urban Tree Growth

Year: 2012
New study developed growth equations for urban tree species throughout the United States

Database captures urban tree sizes, growth rates across U.S.

Year: 2017
Sometimes in the cramped environs of U.S. cities every inch counts, especially if attempting to make space for nature. City planners and urban foresters now have a resource to more precisely select tree species whose growth will be a landscaping dream instead of a maintenance nightmare.

Community Tree Guides Help Managers Show that Trees Pay Us Back

Year: 2010
The 16th and final Community Tree Guide was published for Central Florida based on research conducted in Orlando. Providing complete coverage of the US, any user can now compare future net benefits from alternative tree planting scenarios. In Minnesota, a series of workshops helped communities use a...

One Million Trees LA Canopy Cover Assessment

Year: 2011
The day after Antonio Villaraigosa was elected mayor of the City of Los Angeles he planted a tree and announced his plan to plant one million trees over the next several years. To guide this initiative he called upon PSW scientists to answer some questions: How green is LA today Is there room for a ...

Trees in Los Angeles: Carbon Dioxide Sink or Source

Year: 2014
Tree planting is considered to be among the most effective approaches to cooling urban environments and mitigating carbon dioxide emissions. The Los Angeles tree program known as "City Plants" is one of several mayoral tree planting initiatives launched in the largest U.S. cities. Altogether, the la...

California ‘Street’ Tree Benefits Valued at $1 Billion

Year: 2016
Forest Service researchers use a computerized tree inventory and management program to quantify the number and types of tree species lining California streets, as well as to calculate the value of their various ecological benefits.