Researching the Decline
In 2004 the Delaware Center for Horticulture initiated a two-year study to assess the state of the urban forest, in an area encompassing Wilmington, Newark, Elsmere, New Castle and Newport.
The study used the Urban Forest Effects Model (UFORE). It was designed by the U.S. Forest Service, and has been employed to quantify urban forest structure and urban forest effects in numerous cities around the world.
The UFORE methodology analyzes three major aspects of urban forest:
- Structure – the diversity of tree species, density of trees, forest health, etc.
- Functions – services that trees provide, such as energy conservation and air pollution removal.
- Values – economic benefits of the forest for pollution removal, carbon storage, and energy savings, as well as the estimated worth of each tree that exists in the landscape.
Results of the study are outlined in this report, providing insight for management steps that will increase the environmental, economic, and social benefits of northern Delaware’s urban forest. This and other research (see References) provides the foundation for the facts and statistics quoted.