U.S. Urban Forest Protocol Development

With support from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention (CalFIRE), the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), and through the Reserve’s workgroup development process, the U.S. Urban Forest Protocol was revised and separated into two distinctive protocols: Urban Tree Planting and Urban Forest Management. The Reserve hopes that these new protocols facilitate implementation of more urban forest projects.

U.S. Urban Forest Management Version 1.1

The Urban Forest Management (UFM) Protocol Version 1.1 revision offers improved monitoring, reporting, and verification guidance. The associated Quantification Guidance includes default factors designed to reduce project implementation costs.

Urban Tree Planting Version 2.0

The U.S. Urban Tree Planting (UTP) Protocol Version 2.0 is a revised version of the U.S. Urban Forest Protocol Version 1.1 and was adopted by the Reserve Board of Directors on June 25, 2014.

Previous Versions

U.S. Urban Forest Management Version 1.0

The U.S. UFM Protocol Version 1.0 incorporates guidance and requirements from the U.S. Urban Forest Protocol Version 1.1 but also allows for improved management of urban trees (carbon stocks). The protocol was adopted by the Reserve Board of Directors on June 25, 2014.

Public Comments

California Urban Forest Council Sacramento Tree Foundation
David Diaz Sacramento Municipal Utility District
Greg McPherson Comment 1
Greg McPhersion Comment 2
Mark McPherson Zagori

Workgroup Participants

ArborVitae Environmental Services Sacramento Municipal Utility District
California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection Sacramento Tree Foundation
California Urban Forests Council SCS Global Services
City of Palo Alto, CA The Nature Conservancy
City of San Jose, CA UC Davis
Environmental Capital LLC University of Florida
Environmental Conservation Alliance US Forest Service
Hillis Clark et al West Coast Arborists

U.S. Urban Forest Protocol Version 1.1

The U.S. Urban Forest Protocol Version 1.1 was approved by the Reserve Board in March 2010. This protocol revision clarified protocol guidance and program policies, but did not affect eligibility criteria for urban forest projects. Notable changes included:

  • Updated project start date language to be consistent with Reserve start date policy
  • Added methodology for quantifying GHG emissions from vehicles and equipment for municipalities with insufficient data
  • Clarified the project reporting and verification schedules
  • Added the verification protocol guidance to the protocol

U.S. Urban Forest Protocol Summary of Changes from Version 1.0 to 1.1 (March 10, 2010)

Version 1.0

The U.S. Urban Forest Project Reporting Protocol is the result of a stakeholder-driven process that began in September 2006. The U.S. Forest Service Center for Urban Forest Research (CUFR), widely known for its extensive technical expertise in quantifying environmental benefits of urban forests, led a two-year process involving a wide range of urban forest experts and various other stakeholders to produce a draft U.S. Urban Forest Protocol for the Reserve. As part of the process, CUFR developed a standardized calculation tool, the CUFR Tree Carbon Calculator (CTCC), that can be used to calculate tree carbon sequestration as part of the protocol.

The following document is a summary of staff responses to all public comments received:

Staff Response to Public Comments, Version 1.0 (August 2008)


Workgroup, Stakeholder, and Committee Participants

Alliance for Community Trees James P. Allen and Associates, Consulting Arborists
Amma Center of New Mexico L.A. Department of Water and Power
Arizona State University Lomakatsi Restoration Project
Audubon Society Los Angeles Conservation Corps
BioCompliance Los Angeles Urban Forestry Program
Board of Forestry and Fire Protection Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Building Industry Association Natural Resources Defense Council
CalFire Pacific Forest Trust
California Air Resources Board Pacific Gas and Electric Company
California Biomass Collaborative, UC Davis Sacramento Municipal Utility District
California Climate Action Registry Sacramento Tree Foundation
California Department of Transportation San Diego Gas & Electric
California Energy Commission San Diego State University
California Forestry Association Sierra Business Council
California Integrated Waste Management Board Society of Municipal Arborists
California Oak Foundation Southern California Edison
California ReLeaf Southern University
California State Parks Stanford University
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona Stonebridge Properties
California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo The Nature Conservancy
California State University, Fresno The Sampson Group
California State University, Fullerton TreePeople
California Tree Collaborative Trust for Public Lands
California Urban Forest Council U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Casey Trees U.S. Forest Service
CH2M Hill UC Berkeley, Integrated Hardwood Range Management Program
City of Albuquerque, NM, Parks and Recreation Department UC Coop Extension, Urban Horticulture
City of Davis, CA UC Irvine
City of Los Angeles, CA UC Riverside, Integrated Hardwood Range Management Program
City of Morgan Hill, CA UC San Diego
City of Sacramento, CA UC Santa Barbara
City of Vallejo, Landscape Management University of Cincinnati
Conservation Strategy Group University of La Verne
Davey Research Group University of Southern California
Dudek Engineering and Environmental Consultants Urban ReLeaf
EcoSecurities USFS, Southern Center for Urban Forestry Research
EDAW, Inc. Western Chapter ISA
Ellison, Schneider & Harris Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Forest and Fish Conservation Caucus Woodland Tree Foundation
Great Valley Center World Resources Institute
Independent Arborists

Please contact the Reserve with questions or comments.