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City of Tampa Urban Forest Logo

City of Tampa
Urban Ecological Analysis
and Management Plan 2010-2012

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City of Tampa 2006 Tree Canopy Cover
The City of Tampa (City), University of South Florida (USF), University of Florida (UF) and the UF-IFAS/ Hillsborough Extension Service completed an ecological analysis of the City's urban forest in 2006-2007 [1]. Nearly five years old, the 2006 project examined the temporal change in canopy coverage from 1975-2006 and concluded that average citywide tree cover of 29% had returned to 1970s levels, that tree cover change was not positive in all areas of the City, but that the potential existed to substantially increase tree cover on most land uses within the City. The project also established two-hundred permanent sampling plots to conduct a robust scientific analysis of the vegetative structure, functions, and values provided by Tampa's urban forest. The estimated 7.8 million trees in Tampa provided ecosystem services with an annual economic value in the tens of millions of dollars and a replacement value of $1.4 billion, but that the health of trees on privately maintained land uses was much lower than those on publicly maintained lands. Using the results of the 2006-2007 study and grant monies from the State of Florida, the project team developed a report describing existing and possible urban tree canopy [2] and helped the City initiate the process to develop a long-term urban forest management plan. A major outcome of this effort was a vision (with goals) for urban forest sustainability developed by the Mayor's Steering Committee on Urban Forest Sustainability. More recently, the project team assisted the Department of Parks and Recreation to develop a survey of community preferences regarding urban forests. This project will re-examine the City's urban forest as required by the Tampa tree ordinance (Ord. No. 2006-74, § 9, 3-23-06) and develop Tampa's first long-term urban forest management plan.

The project team will leverage the results of recent efforts to benefit the City. As part of the Tampa Bay Watershed Forest Working Group, project team members have conducted several scientific and applied research projects to better understand the social, physical, ecological and economic dimensions associated with urban forest management in the Tampa Bay area. Research funding from sources other than the City have contributed to knowledge that will be shared with and used by the stakeholders who will participate in the development of the City of Tampa Urban Forest Management Plan.

The purpose of this project will be three-fold:

  1. To re-inventory Tampa's urban forest in order to complete a 5-year update to the Tampa Urban Ecological Analysis (UEA);
  2. To utilize both new and previously collected field and remote sampling information to conduct a detailed analysis of structural and spatial change to Tampa's urban forest since 2006; and
  3. To develop a science-based, publicly-supported, fiscally responsible Urban Forest Management Plan based on the vision and goals developed by the Mayor's Steering Committee on Urban Forest Sustainability.

The project will be lead by members of the unique research team representing the City, USF, UF, IFAS and nationally recognized urban researchers from the USDA Forest Service and the Spatial Analysis Laboratory of the University of Vermont.

Download the full Scope of Work for this project: TampaUEA_2010-12_SOW_WEB.pdf

Project Management

Background Information

  • City of Tampa Urban Ecological Analysis 1975-1996. Kyle Campbell and Shawn Landry, 1999.
  • Tampa Steering Committee on Urban Forest Sustainability

    The committee was formed with representatives of a diversity of stakeholder groups, including: the Mayor's Beautification Program; Tampa Bay Builders Association; Arborists; Tampa Reforestation and Environmental Efforts; Tampa Electric Company; Urban Foresters; and the neighborhood and community associations within the City of Tampa. Meetings were organized and directed by a team from the University of Florida, University of South Florida and Hillsborough County Extension. Through a process of open discussion and facilitated decision making the steering committee identified a vision statement, goals and implementable strategies to guide urban forestry policy and management efforts within the City of Tampa.

Selected Additional Information about Urban Forests Benefits and Management


For updated information about the 2010-2012 project, visit the project webpage on the City of Tampa Department of Planning and Development website.

[1] Andreu, MG, Friedman, MH, Landry, SM, & Northrop, RJ. (2008). City of Tampa Urban Ecological Analysis 2006-2007: City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department. Available as Florida Cooperative Extension Service EDIS document FOR203,

[2] Landry, SM, Andreu, MG, Friedman, MH, & Northrop, RJ. (2009). A report on the City of Tampa's existing and possible urban tree canopy. Final report to the City of Tampa, February 19, 2009. : City of Tampa, Florida,