Urban Forest Innovations Inc. (UFI) excels in providing customized and effective urban forest management and planning solutions for municipalities and institutions of all sizes. We provide a full range of urban forest assessment services, from tree inventories and mapping, to detailed management cost/benefit analyses using the latest i-Tree Streets and Eco urban forest analysis software. Utilizing our extensive expertise in the development of Strategic Urban Forest Management Plans (SUFMP), UFI’s planning team works closely with leaders in the fields of urban forestry, ecology and other disciplines to move municipalities from reactive ‘tree care’ to proactive, efficient and sustainable urban forest management.
Urban Forest Assessments and Frameworks: Typically, an urban forest assessment is a municipality’s first step in undertaking a planned approach to urban forest management. UFI can assess the current state of urban forest management using a Criteria and Indicators approach and develop a framework highlighting key recommendations, challenges, opportunities and objectives to be incorporated into a strategic master plan. We can also conduct in-depth analyses on existing tree inventory data for streets, parks and natural areas, and provide our clients with a better understanding of urban forest structure, functions, and management cost / benefits ratios. Among the tools we utilize for such assessments include the groundbreaking USDA Forest Service’s i-Tree software suite, which includes the successful Streets and Eco urban forest benefits models.
Urban Tree Inventories: UFI’s extensive experience in arboriculture enables the company to conduct efficient and accurate street, park and private tree inventories. UFI utilizes leading-edge data collection and inventory management tools, enabling municipalities to effectively and proactively manage their trees with the most up-to-date information available. Tree inventories collected by UFI can be tailored to meet a variety of needs, including integration with existing enterprise management systems, compatibility with the i-Tree Streets and Eco inventory analysis models, and detailed GIS-based mapping.
Urban Tree Canopy (UTC) Studies: Urban Tree Canopy (UTC) can be a key measure of urban forest sustainability, especially when change is assessed over time. In conjunction with our industry-leading partners, UFI has prepared comprehensive UTC assessments using GIS-based satellite imagery analysis, field-based data collection and computer modeling. A comprehensive UTC assessment not only shows the current extent of the urban forest, but can be used to project canopy growth and prioritize locations for UTC growth over time. Every UTC assessment is supported by a comprehensive study report, spatial database, and mapping.
Plantable Spaces Inventory: Opportunities for urban forest expansion and tree establishment can best be realized with a detailed spatial inventory of available and potential planting spaces. UFI’s experienced arborists have undertaken numerous plantable space inventories. Such inventories detail important attributes such as site size, suitable species, potential conflicts and planting priority, and help municipal managers select the best sites to ensure successful tree establishment that returns positive benefits.
Technical and Project Specifications: UFI’s extensive experience with various tree-related aspects of municipal project management, land development, and construction enables us to prepare leading-edge technical specifications for our municipal clients. In conjunction with staff from various disciplines, such as engineering and landscape architecture, UFI has written and provided editing services for clear and effective specifications for a wide range of activities. Examples include development of a specification for soil mixes and installation procedures in a major regional transportation corridor, editing of specifications for a major municipal park redevelopment project, and preparation of specifications for cyclical street pruning in accordance with the latest ANSI pruning standards.
Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Management Planning: EAB poses among the most significant threats to urban forests in generations. While no management options can protect all ash trees against this devastating pest, an EAB management plan prepared by UFI can help any affected municipality assess threat levels, identify and prioritize the management response, and maximize the efficient use of resources. Tailored to every unique community, strategies may include ash tree inventories, protection of significant trees, pre-emptive and reactive removal and replacement, and public education.
Stakeholder Consultation and Visioning: UFI can arrange, facilitate and report on consultations and information sessions with key urban forest stakeholders and the general public. Such consultations are critical in winning public, staff and government support for management plans, and also allow for public input into the final plan.
By-law and Regulation Development: UFI has extensive experience in the peer review and implementation of municipal tree By-laws, and has worked with partners to develop a tree protection By-law for a large Ontario municipality. The company’s familiarity with the opportunities for and challenges to successful By-law implementation enable UFI to develop sound and enforceable municipal tree protection By-laws.
Strategic Urban Forest Management Planning: UFI’s urban forest management consultants can prepare a comprehensive, integrative urban forest management plan for your municipality using a customized, science-based approach. The plan, divided into strategic, management and operational components, will guide municipal operations and budgeting towards a truly sustainable and healthy urban forest.
UFI’s approach to urban forest management and planning can also be tailored to the needs of institutions such as arboreta, industrial parks, school boards, universities and others.