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    Trees in towns and cities provide habitat for wildlife. In particular, cavity-nesting birds nest in the deadand decayed stems and branches of these trees. The same dead and decayed stems and branches alsohave a greater likelihood of failure, which, in some circumstances, increases risk. We examined 1760trees in Baltimore, MD, USA and western MA, USA, assessing tree risk and, for a sub-sample, noting thepresence of cavity nests excavated by birds. In Baltimore, most trees were in areas of frequent use andhad no visible defects. In western MA, most trees were in areas of infrequent use and 70% had visibledefects. The most common defect in both locations was dead branches and stubs between 10 and 51 cmin diameter. Trees with a cavity nest had a greater likelihood of failure than trees without a cavity nest.Our data provide an overview of tree risk assessment and mitigation, a baseline understanding of riskparameters for common street trees in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States, andinsight into whether a balance can be struck between tree risk and provision of wildlife habitat.

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    Kane, Brian; Warren, Paige S.; Lerman, Susannah B. 2015. A broad scale analysis of tree risk, mitigation and potential habitat for cavity-nesting birds. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening. 14(4): 1137-1146.


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    Tree risk assessment, Cavity-nesting birds

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