Urban forestry research needs identified by Canadian municipalities.
At a time when the future of our planet remains fraught with uncertainty, interest in the state and role of forests, especially in urban settings, is growing rapidly. Our project, based on a Canada-wide survey, identifies the research needs of 192 municipalities of 5000 inhabitants or more, and verifies whether the size of the municipality, the region or the canopy have an impact on these needs. The numerous needs identified by municipalities show that there is a strong demand for research in this area. In particular, municipalities want to know: (a) which tree species are better adapted to urban settings; (b) the effects of trees on rainwater runoff and on human health; and (c) that more studies be conducted on topics such as trees and infrastructure, on hazardous trees, on invasive plant species, and on various tree pests. Our analysis reveals that small municipalities are less interested in certain needs than larger municipalities, and that municipalities in the Maritimes region show more interest in certain topics than those in other Canadian regions. Results also reveal that urban forest canopy size has no influence on the identified needs. This study allows researchers to better define their projects, and it highlights the importance of improving knowledge exchange with and among key stakeholders in cities actively pursuing and interested in urban forestry activities.