Urban foresters work to manage timber resources that are not harvested for their wood but used to improve an urban space. Urban foresters work with trees in parks, along streets, and in urban greenways to help proliferate and protect tree health while managing tree growth to prevent damage to utilities like power lines. Urban foresters are usually educated in the sciences at universities and have skills in public administration as well. The specialty is likely to be in demand in the coming years. Urban foresters are responsible for the maintenance, conservation and improvement of trees in urban settings. They will manage and develop strategies for park and street trees, as well as help control disease through targeted tree removal and monitoring. Urban foresters may also supervise pesticide application to prevent the destruction of urban trees by insects and other pests. Sometimes, urban foresters are tasked with outreach and planning tasks like reviewing development plans for code compliance with regard to the placement and choice of trees.
In order to be an urban forester one must be required: urban forestry is a relatively new field, but generally those working in the area are required to hold a bachelor's degree in forestry from an accredited university or land-grant college. Usually, programs in the field require a basic science background, with training in chemistry, biology, environmental science and physics. Botanical courses like soil science and taxonomy--the naming of plants--are also typically required. Finally, some programs also involve field training through internships. A certain set of skills is required too: In addition to basic knowledge and coursework in the sciences, urban foresters are typically required to have skills valuable to completing public government tasks. Urban foresters should be able to develop, implement and evaluate plans for environmental management, as well as appreciate policy challenges and economic limitations. GIS training and computer skills are increasingly becoming valuable. They typically must work with the public to provide education and answer questions they receive, so usually benefit from solid verbal and written communication skills. They also use critical thinking skills to apply regulations and codes to real-life situations in a practical and accommodating way.
Other jobs included in urban forestry are: forestry program specialist, executive director, senior forester, environmental analyst, consulting utility forester, plant health care technician, intern, utility forester, tree care ground man and trimmer, director of public works, certified arborist, certified foremen, forestry technician, district conversationalist, and park ranger.