Expanding LA's Urban Forest

The County of Los Angeles Chief Sustainability Office is leading the effort to prepare the county's first Urban Forest Management Plan.

2 minute read

March 19, 2024, 11:00 AM PDT

By Clement Lau


Mature jacaranda trees full of purple blooms on street in Los Angeles, California.

rob70 / Adobe Stock

Made up of trees on both public and private lands, the urban forest is an essential part of a healthy, thriving, and resilient community. When spread equitably and supported by other urban greening measures, a well-managed urban forest throughout Los Angeles County can deliver a wide range of benefits, such as healthier soils, biodiversity, habitats, shading from heat, and greater community health and well-being.

The County of Los Angeles Chief Sustainability Office (CSO) is leading the effort to develop an Urban Forest Management Plan (UFMP) which is a blueprint that will guide the planting of new trees and the protection of mature trees throughout the region. OurCounty, L.A. County's Sustainability Plan, calls for the development of the UFMP to ensure a climate-appropriate, healthy urban tree canopy that is equitably distributed. A key goal for the UFMP is to address inequities in the distribution of trees and tree canopy as well as the benefits they offer. Research shows that lower-income neighborhoods and communities of color often have less tree canopy.

In this article, CSO policy analyst Rebecca Ferdman addresses the following important questions and more:

  • Compared to most major urban areas, does L.A. have a relatively healthy urban forest?
  • Why are trees so important? Both from an ecological point of view and a quality of life point of view? 
  • What role do trees play in climate change? How can they help us adapt to rising temperatures, wildfires and the like?
  • What can we do to make sure that all residents benefit from vibrant tree canopies?
  • What kind of trees should we be planting in our communities? 
  • Is the iconic palm tree maybe a thing of the past?
  • What is driving the County's UFMP and what do you hope to achieve?

To learn more, please read the source article.

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