Assessing Urban Forest Patch Health: A Protocol from Baltimore

Assessing Urban Forest Patch Health: A Protocol from Baltimore

This forest health protocol was developed by Baltimore Greenspace for use in the many forest patches across the city. Designed to understand a series of baseline environmental measures, using this protocol will provide a snapshot of forest health that include soil quality, understory species, overstory species, and their relative dominance. This protocol includes practical, accessible how-tos for collecting samples and analyzing data, a glossary of terms, and a native plant species list and their plant codes.

In a nutshell, this resource offers:

  • An accessible guide to understand and conduct research on urban forest patch health.
  • A tutorial on how to use Google Earth and Excel to find forest patches and establish plots for forest health sampling.
  • A description of what field supplies you will need to conduct a forest health assessment.
  • Tips for working in the field: health, safety, using GPS, and collecting data.
  • Data sheet templates.

How to use this resource:

  • As a guide for stewards and staff to collect data on forest health in urban forested natural areas.
  • As an example for drafting a protocol that is specific to your own forest type.

Author: Baltimore Green Space; University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Johns Hopkins University; and the USDA Forest Service.

Date published: 2021

Point of contact: Baltimore Greenspace, 

Resource is available online here.


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