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    Climbers' CornerTree Academy

    Mesopotamia to Milwaukee: A History of City Trees


    Our primate ancestorsumans have always used tree evolved in trees.  As the rain forests of Africa dried and became savannas our ancestors were forced to adapt to more open conditions, but were never far from trees, using them for shelter, tools, food and fuel.  Agriculture brought permanent communities and a desire to bring trees into these communities.  Use was primarily for food and other products, the exception being aesthetic use in gardens of the elites.  As settlements grew from villages to walled cities and to larger cities without walls, tree use changed as well.   Trees and gardens came to be regarded as less utilitarian and more ornamental, especially in the more affluent classes.  The shift from living on the land to living in cities by most of the world’s population has further changed the value of trees to encompass not only aesthetics and utility, but social and environmental values.  Paralleling the emergence of the modern city has been the emergence of arboriculture and urban forestry as science based disciplines to manage urban trees, forests and other urban green space.  As the human population continues to expand and migrate into cities, as the global economy expands, and as the climate changes; the challenges to and opportunities for arboriculture and urban forestry will be unprecedented.   


    Robert W. Miller is Emeritus Professor of Urban Forestry from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point (UWSP).  During his 29 years at UWSP he developed the curriculum and supporting courses for their Urban Forestry Program.  Miller has published numerous papers in professional and scientific journals and is the author of the book “Urban Forestry: Planning and Managing Urban Greenspaces.” Miller, Dr. Richard Hauer and Dr. Les Werner from UWSP recently completed a third edition of the book.  Miller holds a BS and MS in Forestry from West Virginia University and a PhD in Forestry from the University of Massachusetts.  Miller retired from the University in 2002 and currently resides in Oriental, NC.  Currently Miller is chair of the Oriental Tree Board, member of the North Carolina Urban Forest Council Board, member of the Science and Technology Committee for the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program, and a part time urban forestry and arboriculture consultant.  

    Climbers' CornerTree Academy

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