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Publication #FOR121

Developing an Urban Forest Management Plan for Hurricane-Prone Communities1

Francisco Escobedo, Rob Northrop and Wayne Zipperer2


An effective urban forest management and planning process should be developed and implemented before damage from a windstorm or hurricane occurs. It can also be used as a blue print for post-hurricane response to damage after a storm. This fact sheet brings together the information and tools from previous fact sheets in this hurricane recovery series. It also changes the focus to the community rather than the homeowner or arborist and from individual trees to the urban forest. A management plan needs to be developed for the entire communitys urban forest, which includes all the trees on public and private properties. Communities (e.g. neighborhoods, homeowner associations, towns, or cities) can manage their tree resources to meet common goals and objectives using this process which is outlined by discussing seven general approaches to developing an urban forest management plan for hurricane-prone communities.

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This document is FOR121, one of the Urban Forest Hurricane Recovery Program series of the School of Forest Resources and Conservation and the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date January 2007. Reviewed February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at and


Francisco Escobedo, Assistant Professor, School of Forest Resources and Conservation and Robert Northrop, Urban and Community Forester, Hillsborough County Extension Office; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611. Wayne Zipperer, Research Forester, USDA Forest Service, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.