Urban Forestry

Created in 2022, the American Fork Urban Forestry Division aims to mitigate the conflicts between AF’s urban forest and public infrastructure to reduce the use of city resources to resolve said conflicts; whilst positively integrating green infrastructure as a valued city asset through education and proper application.

Tree Owner Resources - Title

Tree Owners Manual Opens in new window

Benefits of Trees - Title Opens in new windowWhy Hire an Arborist - Title Opens in new windowPruning Young Trees - Title Opens in new windowPruning Mature Trees - Title Opens in new windowTree Selection and Placement - Title Opens in new windowAvoiding Tree and Utility Conflicts - Title Opens in new windowBuying High-Quality Trees - Title Opens in new windowNew Tree Planting - TitleTrees and Turf - Title Opens in new windowProper Mulching Techniques - Title Opens in new windowMature Tree Care - Title Opens in new windowPlant Health Care - Title Opens in new windowStorm-Related Tree Damage - Title Opens in new windowRecognizing Tree Risk - Title Opens in new windowAvoiding Tree Damage During Construction - Title Opens in new windowTreatment of Trees Damaged by Construction - Title Opens in new window

Tree Vocabulary

Below is a glossary of terms commonly used in the tree care industry:

ANSI A300 - industry-developed, national consensus standards of practice for tree care, in the United States

ANSI Z133 - industry-developed, national consensus safety standards of practice for tree care, in the United States

Adventitious Roots - roots that form on trunks and branches when in contact with moist soil or organic material.

Best Management Practices - best-available, industry recognized courses of action, in consideration of the benefits and limitations, based on scientific research and current knowledge

Branch Bark Ridge - raised strip of bark at the top of a branch union where the growth and expansion of the trunk or parent stem and adjoining branch push the bark into a ridge

Branch Collar - the area of swelling at the union between a parent stem and a smaller branch

Broadleaf – Trees that have broad, flat leaves as opposed to needles

Buds – Embryonic leaves, shoot, and/or flower contained in protective tissue through the winter

Caliper – Diameter of the tree measured at the ground. Only used for nursery trees below 6 inches in diameter

Cambium – Thin layer of cells that produces new wood

Canopy – The layer made up of all tree crowns in a specified area

Certified Arborist – An arborist that is certified by the International Society of Arboriculture to possess technical skills and knowledge through experience and training to manage or provide expertise on the management of trees

Codominant - branches of similar diameter arising from a common union and lacking a collar.

Compartmentalization - the natural defense process in trees; implementation of chemical and physical boundaries to limit the spread of disease and decay organisms

Conifer – A tree with needles instead of leaves. Most are evergreen, however some are deciduous

Critical root zone – An area near the trunk of the tree where the large anchoring roots are located

Crown – the upper part of a tree, measured from the lowest branch, including all the branches and foliage

DBH (Diameter at Breast Height) – Diameter of the tree measured at 4.5 ft above the ground

Deciduous – Trees that lose their leaves each year. These are usually broadleaf trees, but several conifers are deciduous

Dominant Leader/Stem - the stem that grows much larger than all other stems and branches

Drip line – imaginary line defined by the branch spread of a single plant or group of plants

Drought-tolerant – Trees that are more adapted to withstand extended dry periods when they are mature. ALL TREES STILL NEED WATER, but especially young trees. Drought-tolerant does not mean you don’t have to water the tree.

Fine/Feeder Roots – Non-woody roots that occur in greatest abundance near the soil surface and are the principal point of entry for water and minerals.

Girdle – To constrict the vascular tissue inhibiting growth and the movement of water and nutrients.

Girdling root – A root that has grown to encircle the main stem of the tree and girdles the tree

Hanger – A large branch that is broken and hanging in the tree

High-voltage transmission lines (HVTL) – Utility wires that transmit power throughout the electrical grid. These require high clearance and are different than cable or other small electric lines that do not require large clearances. Trees near HVTL need to be pruned by utility companies and must have large clearances.

Included Bark - bark that becomes embedded in a union between branch and trunk or co-dominant stems. Causes a weakness in the union indicating likely failure of the junction

Lion-tailing - excessive removal of lower or interior branches on main scaffolds that results in a concentration of growth and foliage at branch ends. This is considered an unacceptable practice

Mature Trees - trees that have reached at least 75 percent of their typical final height and spread

Park strip – Area of landscaping between the sidewalk and street

Permanent Branches - branches that form the architectural framework of a tree

Pruning – An intentional process of cutting tree branches to promote tree health/safety. Pruning is not randomly cutting branches with no clearly defined end-goal

Public right-of-way – City-owned strip of land extending from the center of the street to a defined distance

Reduction Cut - a pruning cut that removes the larger of two branches back to a lateral that will assume dominance and able to sustain the branch; technique for keeping branches small.

Removal – Work done by professionals to safely take a tree out of the landscape. Urban Forestry removes trees due to safety issues or the health of the tree is beyond remediation

Root Flare/Collar - the transitional area between woody arid-tolerant tissue (trunk) and moisture-tolerant tissue (roots)

Stem - woody structure bearing foliage and buds that gives rise to other stems (branches)

Street tree – City-owned tree growing in a park strip or median along a street

Structural Roots - Large, woody, roots that anchor and support a trees trunk and crown

Subordination - the removal of the end of a branch or stem to slow its growth relative to its parent, or to a favored branch or stem

Temporary Branches - Branches retained on a tree for the first few years, with the intention to ultimately remove; these should be reduction pruned yearly so they stay small

Topping – the reduction of tree size by heading large, live branches and leaders without regard to long-term tree health or structural integrity. 

Tree – a woody perennial plant with a single or multiple trunks, which typically develop a mature size of over several inches in diameter and 10 feet or more in height

Tree Protection Zone – A fenced-off area around existing trees during construction activity

Trunk – Main stem of the tree between the root collar and the first branches.

Union - the junction of stem and branch or between stems

Vascular Tissue – The structures in a tree that carry water and nutrients throughout the tree (xylem and phloem).

To read the city code regarding parkstrip and tree care click here: [Sec. 12.16].

Beautification and Shade Tree Committee