Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): James A. WestfallNancy F. SontiMichael C. WiemannThomas L. Eberhardt; Chi-Leung So
    Date: 2020
    Source: Urban Forestry & Urban Greening
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (979.0 KB)


    Interest in conducting urban tree inventories and quantifying the associated wood resource has accelerated at a pace faster than supporting research needs can be identified and accomplished. For example, it is common to apply allometric models and wood properties values developed from studies of rural forest-grown trees to urban trees, despite unknown degrees of inaccuracy that may exist. To examine potential differences in wood properties between trees grown in forest and urban settings, wood samples were collected from stumps of recently felled trees for nine native hardwood species in the city of Baltimore, MD USA. The samples were analyzed for basic specific gravity (SG) and ash content (AC). The results from urban trees were compared with published values from studies based on forest-grown trees. There was no general trend in the results for SG; however, urban Acer rubrum L., Fraxinus spp., and Quercus rubra L. appeared to have higher SG, with Quercus palustris Münchh. having lower SG, than their forested counterparts. Based on these results, the use of existing forest-based SG data may produce weight estimates of urban woody biomass that are 5–10% too low. Conversely, most of the species studied exhibited higher AC than their forested counterparts, although some results were mixed depending on the basis of comparison. Further work is needed on a wider range of species and geographic locations to refine the results and better support the analysis of urban tree inventories, which are increasingly used for carbon accounting and assessing feedstocks for biofuel use.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
    • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
    • During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Westfall, James A.; Sonti, Nancy F.; Wiemann, Michael C.; Eberhardt, Thomas L.; So, Chi-Leung. 2020. Urban tree specific gravity and ash content: A case study from Baltimore, Maryland USA. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening. 48: 126556. 7 p.


    Google Scholar

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page