Cities, as well as suburban areas at the wildland-urban interface, often include aging and mature tree stands, defined as even-aged groups of one or a few tree species and with most individual trees advanced in age. In this presentation I will discuss the unique set of challenges, at the intersection of arboriculture, forestry, and planning, that tree managers face when dealing with these stands, as well as the conceptual approaches (e.g. “veteran trees”) that have been associated with mature-tree management. The presentation will include an overview of the issues seen from the perspectives of multiple disciplines involved, such as arboriculture (e.g., hazards, pests, longevity), forestry (age structure, density, fuels and fire) and policy/planning (stakeholder involvement, replanting and species selection), and will note the distinction between “urban” stands and the stands in wildland intermix areas. I will then discuss the management techniques that can be employed, and the technical and scientific resources – from fields as diverse as silviculture, forest ecology, wildfire science, urban forestry, as well as urban planning and science communication – that are available to create a “management toolkit” that is generally applicable but also remains flexible and adaptable to each situation and specific tree stand.
Igor Laćan is an urban forestry advisor with the UC Cooperative Extension in the San Francisco Bay Area. An ecologist by training, Igor has worked on technical and policy issues associated with urban trees, urban/suburban streams, as well as vegetation and wildlife in wildland areas. Igor’s current research and extension program focuses on sustainable management of urban natural resources, primarily trees (e.g., species selection), water and stormwater (e.g., tree performance in stormwater facilities), and tree-human interactions (e.g., tree failure and wood decay organisms).