Silos, those wonderfully, iconic, cylindrical structures that used to be a prevalent part of the farming landscape are disappearing more and more with each passing year. With advances in agriculture these beautiful structures that once reached skyward are becoming more of a rarity as one travels through the countryside. While we might all shed a tear of something that was once part of the fabric of American agriculture, there is no place for “silos” in the world of urban forestry or urban wood. Artificial silos can impede the progress of an organization and minimize the momentum of a movement. Over time, we are diminishing “silos” and their negative influences of being barriers to both communications and progress.

Thanks to great collaborative efforts between three program areas – Urban & Community Forestry, Forest Health and Urban Wood – the Virginia Department of Forestry provides a holistic approach to community tree care. From the time the tree is planted until the end of its biological life, tree management guidance is provided for trees to help ensure good growth, a healthy life, and the complete use of the tree and all of its parts throughout its lifetime. Communities are also embracing the concept of zero-net-waste from the management activities of their urban forest resources.  Examples of community no-waste systems include:

Leaves collected in the fall are used to make compost. The compost is then used for town tree and horticultural plantings

Tree prunings from yearly tree maintenance are chipped and used on trails or as mulch

Larger branch removals are utilized as firewood

Large tree trunks are directed into the urban wood market to be used for products such as tables, benches and flooring.

This multi-programmatic approach to the management of our urban forest resources is especially important in these times of invasive insect species such as the emerald ash borer and spotted lantern fly. Even if tree mortality is not imminent, insects such as these can tremendously increase the woody debris flows from urban forests for a number of years. Add to this scenario the plethora of unpredictable and often violent weather events due to climate change resulting in more woody materials coming from our urban areas due to natural events than ever before.

Helping municipalities by selecting the right tree species for plantings, providing them with the skill set to maintain a healthy urban forest, and a solid plan for the total utilization of their urban forest resources, is a model for the future best management of our municipal forests from the Virginia Dept. of Forestry.



Did You Know:

  • A mature tree removes almost 70 times more pollution than a newly planted tree.

  • Every state has an official State Tree. Virginia adopted the flowering dogwood Cornaceae Cornus floridaas the State Tree on February 24, 1956.  The dogwood is well distributed throughout the...

  • Well-maintained trees and shrubs can increase property value by up to 14%.

  • In one day, one large tree can lift up to 100 gallons of water out of the ground and discharge it into the air.

  • Trees are some of the oldest living organisms on earth: some bristle-cone pines are thought to be more than 5000 years old.

  • A birdhouse hung on a young tree branch, does not move up the tree as the tree grows.

  • Most trees do not have a tap root.

  • Trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30 percent and save 20-50 percent in heating energy.

  • Most tree roots are in the top 12 inches of soil.

  • Trees are the largest living organisms on earth: some coastal redwoods are more than 360 feet tall.

  • One large tree can provide a supply of oxygen for two people.

Contact Trees Virginia

(434) 295 6401

900 Natural Resources Drive, Ste 800
Charlottesville, VA 22903

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American Grove     Virginia Department of Forestry     Mid-Atlantic Chapter International Society of Arboriculture