It is been quite a start to the year with a series of storms bringing not only much-needed rain but also, unfortunately, the tragic loss of life and devasting damage to both our built and natural environment. These weather events have a way of highlighting areas where we can improve our management of infrastructure, including our vital green infrastructure. 

Our urban forests provide numerous benefits that help mitigate some of the challenges encountered during significant storms. Trees can take up thousands of gallons of water while heavy rains fall, and the root systems of trees can also help stabilize slopes, preventing erosion. A tree’s leafy canopy also helps prevent erosion by lessening the impact of heavy rainfall on the ground. We must keep our trees healthy to maximize the benefits our urban forests can provide. And we must keep our trees healthy to reduce the risk associated with a falling branch or an uprooted tree during storms. 

As the first urban forest council formed in the USA, we are committed to not just planting trees; we advocate for growing trees. Growing trees is the promise of sustainable and healthy future communities. We envision communities with healthy trees of all ages and sizes and a diversity of species. To achieve this, we need to look after the trees we already have and not unnecessarily remove mature, healthy trees. We need to nurture our young and small trees to increase their chances of survival and long life. We can water our trees during drought, get our trees a health checkup, and pruned when needed. When a tree does reach the end of its life, we can replace it to keep the overall canopy growing. We can see where trees are needed and select appropriate trees to plant. We can also include trees in the planning of our urban environments. After all, healthy urban canopies help keep us physically and mentally healthy. 
The beginning of the year is a great time for planning. My plans include adding a few more trees to the backyard, both ornamental and fruit-bearing. If the cold, wet weather of late also has you in the travel-planning mode, take a look at the events below. We have gathered up a variety of events, both in-person and online, to help you not just grow our urban forests but to grow professionally this year. 

Upcoming events

Mark your calendars!

It is the season to plan out your projects for the year, and there are plenty of webinars and workshops to attend to learn something new and get inspired. If you are looking to learn more about what is happening on the state, national or global level, there are many opportunities to put on your calendar. 

California ReLeaf Learn over Lunch Series

Learn Over Lunch (LOL) is back for Network Members! This year, California ReLeaf will host Learn Over Lunch sessions over zoom every other month on select Wednesdays from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m for Network Members. Not a Network Member, click here to learn how to join. See the schedule below.

The first Learn Over Lunch is on Wednesday, February 8th. You will hear from Benicia Tree Foundation and learn about their Freeway Tree Planting Program. After the presentation, there will be lots of time for discussion and then small breakout groups to debrief and get to know other Network members!

2023 ReLeaf Network LOL Schedule
Select Wednesdays
Time: 11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Open to Network Members Only

February 8th – Benicia Tree Foundation 
Topic: Freeway Tree Planting Program

April 12th – Tree San Diego
Topic: Tree San Diego’s Recent Report on Urban Tree Planting Challenges in San Diego County 

June 14th – Friends of the Urban Forest 
Topic: TBD

August 9th – Tree Fresno
Topic: Green Team Workforce Development Program

Street Tree Seminar Presents the Western Tree Management Symposium

Maximizing Public Space – When Design meets Function

Thursday, February 16, 2023
8:30 am – Tailgate. Check in for the day’s event. 
9:00 am – Parkland Tour
11:00 am – migrate into SoFi space
11:15 am – Lunch with Q&A from morning tours
12:15 – Stadium Tours*
1:15 – Field Experience
2:30 – Adjourn

SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park, a nearly 300-acre sports and entertainment destination, was developed by Los Angeles Rams Owner/Chairman E. Stanley Kroenke. Kroenke worked with Studio MLA, a landscape architecture and urban design studio, to create civic and environmentally conscious landscape solutions across three key areas: water capture and reuse, the utilization of 100 percent Southern California-native plant species, and the continued development of public parks for year-round use. The site’s over 5,000 trees and many species of plants are all native to Southern California and represent the five main ecologies that make up the Mediterranean biome that Southern California inhabits. 

SoFi Stadium @ Hollywood Park
1000 District ~ Inglewood, CA

$155.00 if postmarked by February 10, 2023*
*$25.00 discount for STS members

5.75 CA/MS/TW
2.5 BCMA – Practice /3.25 BCMA – Management

STS Administrative Offices 714/639-6516

Find out more and download the event flyer here.

Urban Forest Connections Webinar Series

Presented by the USDA Forest Service National Urban Forest Technology & Science Delivery Team is back in February!

Assessing Climate Risk to Urban Forests
February 8th | 10 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. PST

Webinar Information:

Cynnamon Dobbs, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Connecticut & Kasey Yturralde, Ph.D., Forest Health and Community Outreach Specialist, District of Columbia Urban Forest Administration

Webinar Information:
The persistence of urban forests and the ecosystem benefits they provide are threatened by climate change, however, systematic assessments of causes of tree dieback and mortality by local governments are rare. Long-term monitoring studies and adaptive management are needed to identify and prevent climate change-driven failures and mortality. The District of Columbia is one jurisdiction that does have an ongoing risk assessment program, including a review of climate-adapted tree species and biodiversity needs.  This webinar will present the findings of recent studies on this topic and the process that the DC Urban Forest Administration uses for monitoring and adaptive management.

CAL FIRE’s Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program Webinars Scheduled

CAL FIRE’s Urban and Community Forestry (UCF) staff are hosting 2 webinars for Green Schoolyards Grants and 2 webinars for UCF Grants (including Urban Forest Expansion and Improvement, Urban Forest Management Activities, Education and Workforce Development, and Urban Wood and Biomass Utilization). Join us for a presentation on grant expectations and Q&A session.

Webinars for Green Schoolyards Grants
February 9, 2023
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

February 13, 2023
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Webinars for Urban and Community Forestry Grants
February 14, 2023
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

February 16, 2023
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Applications for Green Schoolyards Grants and UCF Grant Concept Proposals are due March 31, 2023. 

The UCF team is finalizing the application form and final grant guidelines and will open the application portal soon. Announcements will be sent when available.

Though at this time there is no state funding available for UCF Grants, the budget process remains ongoing and the UCF Program believes funding could be available before the end of this fiscal year. We also anticipate receiving Federal Inflation Reduction Act funding from the USDA Forest Service, though the amount of funding is unknown. In light of these possibilities, and so that we can be prepared to move quickly when funding comes available, CAL FIRE UCF will have a Request for Concept Proposals, opening soon, and we hope to solicit complete applications for projects when funding is available. Please consider sending in concept proposals for consideration.

Additionally, the list of available grant types has changed:

Available Grant Types:

•    Urban Forest Expansion and Improvement
•    Urban Forest Management Activities
•    Urban Forestry Education and Workforce Development
•    Urban Wood and Biomass Utilization

If you have any questions, please contact your Regional Urban Forester or [email protected].

Forests + Climate Learning Exchange Series

The 2022-2023 Forests + Climate Learning Exchange Series (LES), co-hosted by the Forest Carbon and Climate Program (FCCP) and the Society of American Foresters (SAF), invites academics, practitioners, policymakers, and other experts to present innovative and important research, projects, and strategies relating to forest carbon. The series aims to develop and expand forest stakeholder knowledge and perspectives on forest carbon science, management, and strategy. 

The events take place the first Wednesday of each month at 3 pm Eastern. Recordings will be posted below following the event. The LES has been organized and hosted by FCCP since 2017 (with initial support from the Forest-Climate Working Group). It reaches increasingly large and diverse audiences with engaging monthly presentations and active audience Q&A throughout the academic year.

Support for this series is provided, in part, by funding from SAF’s Hagenstein Fund. To honor the legacy and memory of professional forester and SAF leader William D. Hagenstein, this fund aims to reach audiences beyond the forestry community and foster thoughtful exchanges about how and why forests, and the services they provide, are essential to our future. 

2022-23 Learning Exchange Series Speaker Lineup
Mar 1:
 Resilience, Equity, and Nature-based Climate Solutions in New York City
Apr 5: Remote Sensing Technology for Improved Forest Carbon Inventorying
May 3: Looking at Forest Carbon from Multiple Dimensions: Evaluating Tradeoffs and Opportunities to Forest Carbon Management
Jun 7: Dimensions of Urban and Community Forestry.

See Forests + Climate Learning Exchange Series online for more information.

San Diego Regional Urban Forests Council

Wednesday, March 1st, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

SDRUFC Presents: Tools and Technology for Advanced tree Risk Assessment

You are invited to join us at our next SDRUFC in-person meeting, where speakers will present on advancing applications for tree evaluations.

This meeting is to be held at the Balboa Park Club building in Balboa Park, in the Santa Fe room; admission is $25; three CEU’s are available for attendees.

Tentative Schedule:
9:00 – 11:00am: Level Three Assessment Technologies Presentations
Including Drones for Assessment by Vince Mikulanis

11:00am: Sonic Tomography for Level Three Assessment (Field Demonstration)

11:30 Lunch and Business Meeting

To be held in the Santa Fe Room at the Balboa Park Club
2144 American W Rd, San Diego, CA 92101

To register, see speakers’ biographies and a map of the location, click here

Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition (SUFC)

The Annual Meeting will be held on March 1st, with options to attend both in person and online. See more here

Western Chapter ISA 89th Annual Conference & Trade Show

May 8 – 11, 2023 
WCISA have some great speakers lined up this year with informative topics. This year’s Keynote Speaker is Jared Farmer. Jared Farmer is a geohumanist and place-based historian based in Philadelphia. His latest book is “Elderflora: A Modern History of Ancient Trees,” and many will have read his previous book “Trees in Paradise: A California History.” Find out more about the event and book your accommodation at the fabulous Resort at Squaw Creek

California ReLeaf Network Retreat

May 10th & 11th

Sacramento, CA

The Network Retreat is the annual get-together for California’s urban forest nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to improving the health and livability of California cities by planting and caring for trees. The Retreat convenes our 75+ Network members from all over the state for educational and peer-to-peer learning opportunities. Learn more about Network Events and becoming a Network Member on the California ReLeaf website.

The Society of American Foresters National Convention

SAF National Convention is in Sacramento, CA, this October (25-28). The theme, “Forestry: It’s in Our DNA,” references both the proud legacy of forestry and the ongoing challenges and opportunities that foresters and natural resources professionals face. Forestry and what it means to be a forester is multi-faceted, with many backgrounds, disciplines, and experiences shaping our profession’s past, present, and future. SAF2023 will bring together novel science and on-the-ground management techniques, while focusing on how to better communicate our passion to the public, and building a community that can tackle impacts from a changing climate.

Check the website for more details about the convention themes, location, sponsor and exhibitor opportunities. Call for Proposals opens February 15, 2023 with the deadline to submit being March 31, 2023. Early-bird registration opens June 1, 2023.  

2nd World Forum on Urban Forests

16 – 20 October 2023
Washington DC – USA

Urban forests and green spaces are key components of sustainable and resilient urban development, providing a wide range of ecosystem goods and services. They play an important role toward the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG11, which focuses on making cities safe, resilient and sustainable.   

The 2nd edition of WFUF will take place in Washington DC, from 16 to 20 October 2023.  The overall theme will be: Greener, Healthier and Happier Cities for All. This theme was chosen to highlight the importance of building inclusive and accessible cities where the goods and services of urban forests and trees are universally available.

The aim of the Forum is to continue to highlight positive examples of planning, design and management approaches that cities with diverse cultures, forms, structure and histories have implemented to optimize the contribution that urban forests and green infrastructure can provide in terms of economic development, environmental conservation and resilience, improved social cohesion, and increased public involvement.

The submission of voluntary presentations for the 2nd WFUF is now open! The World Forum on Urban Forests will cover three main themes through science, policies and/or case studies contributing to Healthy Cities, Inclusive Cities, and Resilient Cities. For more details please refer to the draft scientific/technical programme.

Find out more at World Forum on Urban Forests website. 


Black Faces in Green Spaces

In 2021, Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the intention of ensuring that Black Americans have greater opportunities for rewarding careers in the forest and conservation sector.

By releasing Black Faces in Green Spaces: The Journeys of Black Professionals in Green Careers, they are hoping to provide youth with an awareness of the many jobs in the forest and conservation sector and advance the forest and conservation sector. They also hope to advance the conversation within the sector by sharing many inspiring stories from historical and current environmental heroes.

To find out more and to order the journeys guide, visit the website

The latest issue of City Trees is available online. City Trees is the magazine of the Society of Municipal Arborists (SMA) and is freely available to everyone. To check out the Jan/Feb 2023 issue, click here

Urban Forest Management Plan (UFMP)

Would you like to help your community protect and expand its tree resources? If so, this tool will guide you and other community members through the process of developing a strategic plan for the management of urban trees and green infrastructure. Each UFMP is unique and varies by many factors, including desired outcomes of the community.

Management decisions of today will influence the amount and types of benefits derived from the urban forest for future generations. If you want to attain a sustainable urban forest with healthy trees that provide a multitude of benefits, use this website.


Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry is hiring! Join the growing team in Portland, OR. Multiple full-time positions with great pay and benefits!

Botanic Specialists
Seeking candidates for multiple positions on the Science & Policy and Tree Planting teams. Responsibilities vary, including locating space for and planting trees; providing outreach and customer service to diverse public stakeholders; managing procurement, planting, and establishment contracts; collecting data on urban trees; and reporting on programs and studies related to Portland’s urban forest. Apply soon! Posting is open until filled, with interviews beginning in February.

Urban Forestry Operations Supervisor
The Operations Supervisor will demonstrate both strong technical and personnel management skills to create a professional, cohesive, and high-performing arborist team with a service-oriented work ethic.  All candidates must have a strong commitment to racial justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion. The ability to successfully communicate and collaborate in person and in writing with a broad range of stakeholders, other City bureaus, private community members, and businesses is essential. Apply soon! Posting is open until filled, with interviews beginning in February.

Learn more about all these positions and apply here!

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