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Conservation Gateway » Conservation Practices » Cities » Healthy Trees, Healthy Cities

Healthy Trees, Healthy Cities Tree Health Initiative

​​​Welcome to the

Healthy Trees, Healthy Cities 

Tree Health Initiative

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To learn more about HTHC's tools and methods, email Rachel Holmes, HTHC Coordinator, for more information ( 

The Nature Conservancy’s Healthy Trees, Healthy Cities (HTHC) Tree Health initiative seeks to protect the health of our nation’s trees, forests, and communities by creating a culture of stewardship that engages people in long-term stewardship and monitoring of the trees in their respective communities. 

This Initiative utilizes citizen science principles and actions in partnership with the US Forest Service to improve the long term health of urban forest resources and to address the threat that non-native tree pests pose to our trees and forests. This initiative strengthens urban tree stewardship efforts by: creating and enhancing partnerships to achieve mutual urban forest management goals; assisting the urban forestry community in its assessment of the vulnerability of trees to potential threats; developing information, training materials, and tools to promote best management practices for the stewardship of trees; engaging corporations, community members and youth in urban forest management activities such as tree-planting, stewardship, and tree health monitoring; and conducting outreach to diverse audiences to raise public awareness about the importance of trees and what people can do to ensure we have vibrant and healthy urban forests for generations to come.

For more information about HTHC, please visit our About page or view our printable Factsheet.

The Healthy Trees, Healthy Cities team had a very productive field season in 2019! HTHC led trainings and assisted with field data collection in Albuquerque, NM; Boise, ID; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Louisville, KY; New York City, NY; and Wilmington, DE. A few highlights:

  • The HTHC Mobile App and Web Dashboard have both been significantly updated, with a focus on improving usability and on enhancing the ability to record tree care activities. Users of the app get more feedback on their tree – one day after a health check, a stress index value is visible in their My Trees list. Project managers can now assign trees to users of the app via the Dashboard, among many other improvements.
  • HTHC's tree health and pest detection protocols were included in two cities' Tree Plotter platforms. This makes including HTHC's methods into their existing tree check protocols a streamlined process. This summer, Albuquerque, NM and Dallas, TX piloted this option – discussions about improving it to make HTHC's methods and stress index and z-score calculations on tree health more easily usable for users of Tree Plotter are ongoing.
  • In Chicago, HTHC once again had the pleasure of partnering with TNC Illinois, the Morton Arboretum, and Trinity United Church of Christ to work with the Imani Village in several neighborhoods across the South Side. Imani Green Health Advocates inventoried trees following a protocol that will help researchers analyze the data collected, and the Advocates developed recommendations for improving the canopy where they worked.
  • In Dallas, HTHC staff trained teams from Groundwork Dallas, the Texas Trees Foundation, and the City of Dallas. These teams inventoried trees in several neighborhoods, including a critically-important inventory of ash trees to help the City of Dallas prepare for EAB.
  • In Louisville, KY, HTHC staff trained a team from YouthBuild to survey trees as part of the Green Heart Project, a partnership between TNC and University of Louisville, Hyphae Design Laboratory, the Institute for Healthy Air Water and Soil. This data complements existing tree inventory data work done by Davey Resource Group.
  • In Boise, ID, HTHC staff ran a training for tree professionals and volunteers led by TNC Idaho and the Treasure Valley Canopy Network.
  • In Wilmington, DE, HTHC staff ran a training for participants in the Branches to Chances program, led by the Delaware Center for Horticulture and TNC Delaware.

Thanks so much to all the wonderful people in these cities, along with the many others HTHC has had the pleasure of working with or presenting to this year. Here's to another great year in 2020!

Email Rachel Holmes, HTHC Coordinator, for more information on the Healthy Trees, Healthy Cities Tree Health Initiative.

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