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    Climbers' CornerTree Academy

    Trees in the urban environment: response mechanisms and benefits for the ecosystem


    Ferrini, F. 1,3, Fini, A.1, Bussotti, F.1, Tattini, M.2

    Presenting author’s e-mail:

    1 Department of Agri-Food Production and Environmental Sciences, section Woody Plants - University of Florence, Italy

    2 Institute for Plant Protection, National Research Council of Italy, Florence, Italy

    3 International Society of Arboriculture - Board of Directors, Champaign, IL (USA)

    The urban environment constrains tree growth and survival: drought, poor soil quality, soil compaction, light heterogeneity, transplant shock, pollutants, salinity, pathogens and conflicts with human activity often cause premature plant death, thus reducing the net benefit by urban green areas. It is therefore important to better understand the dynamics leading to tree decline in the urban environment, and to develop strategies and techniques aimed at improving the horticultural tolerance (i.e. the capacity to provide benefits, not only to survive, under stressful conditions) of urban trees. These include nursery pre-conditioning techniques and post-planting management techniques, but a key role is played by species selection. Hundreds of species are used in the urban environment, but selection criteria are frequently based upon aesthetics and whether the species are native or not, rather than on the tolerance to typical stresses imposed by the built environment and on the capacity to provide substantial benefits therein. This has lead to only a limited knowledge about the ecophysiology of shade trees, if compared to fruit trees and crop species. The ISA supports research in the area of tree selection for tolerance of urban conditions so that the service life of trees in our communities is extended and the benefits provided by trees are maximized.

    Therefore, tolerance mechanisms of species with validated and potential ornamental use and cultural techniques for either pre-conditioning plants in the nursery or alleviating stress after planting will be reviewed in the presentation.

    Conference Proceedings Documents


    Francesco Ferrini - PhD - Full Professor of Arboriculture at the Department of Agri-Food and Environmental Sciences – University of Florence (Italy).  

    Research Interests

    Effect of water stress on growth performance and physiology of urban trees

    Sustainable urban of forestry (using compost to enhance organic matter content in the soil and to improve tree growth performance

    Planning the green city in the global change era: urban tree functions and suitability for predicted future climates.

    Other commitments

    Member of the ISA Board.

    Past-President of the Italian Society of Arboriculture – ISA Italian Chapter from February 2005 to February 2011.

    Senior Editor or Advances in Horticultural Sciences

    Associate Editor of Arboriculture & Urban Forestry.

    Member of the Editorial Board of Urban Forest & Urban Greening


    From 1990 he has published more than 200 scientific and technical papers  in international referred and nationwide journals. He has given more than 100 talks in several international and national congresses.

    He cares the Facebook page “Arboriculture and Urban Forestry” and he is in the committee of the webmagazine    

    In 2010 he has been the recipient of L.C. Chadwick Award for Arboricultural Research Recipient

    Climbers' CornerTree Academy

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