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    Urban forests in the United States provide numerous ecosystem services that vary in magnitude across the country and are valued in the billions of dollars per year. Urban tree cover has been on the decline in recent years. Numerous forces for change will continue to alter urban forests in the coming years (i.e., development, climate change, insects and diseases, invasive plants, wildfires). These forces can both decrease (e.g., via enhanced tree loss) and increase (e.g., via enhanced tree planting and/or natural regeneration) tree cover. On average, about one in three trees are planted in U.S. cities; this proportion varies by land use, ecoregion, and population density. Monitoring the magnitude and characteristics of these natural and human-caused tree gains and losses is important for creating and managing sustainable and healthy urban forests. Such forests often require knowledge of the local forest resource and benefits and the development of long-term urban forest management goals, plans, and monitoring programs. Sustainable and healthy urban forests can help ensure improvements in urban environmental quality, human health, and well-being for current and future generations.

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    Nowak, David J. 2017. Urban forest sustainability in the United States. In: Ning, Z.; Nowak, D.; Watson, G., eds. Urban forest sustainability. Champaign, IL: International Society of Arboriculture. 2-11.


    urban tree cover, ecosystem services, development, climate change, forest pests, invasive species

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