Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Managing Community Forests

Important Ingredients of a Well Managed Community Forest

photo of group planting a tree
  • A group that is responsible for the oversight of the community forest is known as a tree board. Responsibilities may include policy formulation, advising, administration, management, representation and/or advocacy.
  • A tree ordinance will provide authority to the community to conduct forestry programs; establish a Tree Board; define municipal responsibility for public and private trees; pass regulations and set minimum standards for management.
  • Writing and implementing a management plan assists in the creation of a vision for the long-term community forest. It develops strategies, budgets and plans to meet that vision. It develops a tree inventory, which includes locations, species, site conditions, and management needs. A survey is necessary in order to develop a management plan.
  • Use of professional staff or consultants is essential. Whether creating a staff position for a certified arborist or urban forester, or contracting with them on an as needed basis, professional assistance will have some of the greatest and most immediate impacts on your community forestry program. Professionals are trained in tree inventory, management planning, planting techniques, pruning and tree care, risk tree assessment, tree removal, tree pest and health issues and can train volunteers in appropriate management practices.

DEC Urban Foresters are available to help your community develop the components of a well managed community forest. For more information contact your local DEC office.

More about Managing Community Forests: