Demographic trends in Claremont California’s street tree population
The aim of this study was to quantify street tree population dynamics in the city of Claremont, CA. A repeated measures survey (2000 and 2014) based on a stratified random sampling approach across size classes and for the most abundant 21 species was analyzed to calculate removal, growth, and replacement planting rates. Demographic rates were estimated using a hierarchical Bayesian framework. The community-level (all species) median growth rate was 1.41% per year (95% CI: 1.21–1.65%) with Pinus brutia and Pistacia chinensis growing significantly faster than the community-level median. The community-level median removal rate was 1.03% per year (95% CI: 0.66–1.68%), with no significant differences between species and the community-level medium. Once removed, only 7.2% (95% CI: 4.4–12.9%) were replaced annually. Presence of overhead utility lines influenced tree removal rates while age, diameter-at-breast-height, and prior tree condition influenced tree growth. Overall live aboveground biomass in sampled sites was 713.29 Mg in 2000 and increased to 877.36 Mg by 2014. Biomass gain from growth outweighed loss from removals nearly three-fold; replacement contributed 0.5% of the total biomass gain. We conclude that to increase the resilience of the street tree population will require 1) an increase in percent of full stocking or biomass stock and 2) a shift in the species palette to favor species less vulnerable to pests and expected disturbance from climate change and 3) ongoing monitoring to detect departures from baseline demographic rates.