Managing Trees After a Massive Drought: 64th Annual Urban Forestry Conference

64th Annual Urban Forestry Conference

Managing Trees After a Massive Drought

May 22, 2024 – 9AM- 5PM

Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum

Ethnics Building


Mississippians are facing a huge challenge of how to manage, place value and replace massive amounts of dead trees and community canopies. Learn about many factors related to this situation including; identifying a dead tree, what trees to remove, pruning, who to call, removal process, value of your lost trees, insurance, food forests, mitigation of lost trees, replacement trees and much more. This is an important meeting for anyone having to manage trees, municipalities, land owners, business, and home owners.   

Who Should Attend: Any one managing trees, municipalities, home and business owners, public works, supervisors, landscapers, foresters and others.

About Our Speakers: The speakers this year are experts and have spoken at forestry events around the world. Don't miss this opportunity to learn more about urban forestry and trees.



Wednesday, May 22, 2024

8:30 am     Registration

9:00 am     Welcome                                                       Donna Yowell

9:15 am     Drought, IPS, Beetles and Recovery            Stephen Dicke - Shady Arbor PLLC, ISA Certified Arborist and Registered Forester

10:00 am   Food Forests for Yards and Municipalities       Bob Brzuszek - Flatwoods Studio

10:45 am  Methods of Arboriculture and i-Tree                 David Fulgham

12 - 1        Lunch on Your Own

1:00 pm    Mississippi Urban Forestry Awards

1:30 pm    How Drought Killed My Tree                            Malcolm Guidry

2:30 pm    Insurance and Your Trees                                Fred Fellner, LSU

3:30 pm    Ecological Design of Public/Private Spaces      Robert Poore

Native Habitats, RLA, ASLA, CLARB                                                  

4:30 pm     Close         


Registration:   Reserve Your Seat Today by text to Donna Yowell at (601) 672-0755 or Send your name and email.    

Limited Seating.



Scenic Communities of Mississippi

To view a complete virtual listing of resources click the guide cover to the left
To download a copy of Scenic Communities of Mississippi, click here



Some Required and Some Optional


What is a Scenic Community?

A Scenic Community is one that strives to manage land, water, landscapes and other natural resources in sustainable and attractive methods and includes the use of 'Best Management Practices' and policies.

Scenic Communities of Mississippi is a two part program.

PART ONE: The primary focus of the Scenic Communities of Mississippi program is to provide valuable resource information to Community Leaders and Citizens in Mississippi. This “Resource Guide” serves as a clearinghouse of information that can assist with a wide range of subjects including conservation, green infrastructure, sustainable practices, air and water pollution. It includes over (21) subject categories related to the natural environment and the management of natural resources. Over (295) agencies and/or programs are currently listed.

The guide will be helpful for community development and individual citizens. Groups such as homeowner associations, civic clubs, home and business sites, military bases, parks and backyards are eligible for these programs. We hope you find this document informative and helpful in your pursuit to learn more about the environment while enjoying the many resources available in our state.

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Chapter includes additional resources for coastal citizens. This is part of "ENVIRONMENTAL HARMONY- EDUCATE AND PARTICIPATE' campaign on the coast to provide more environmental education to more coastal citizens.

For additional current information please contact us. Email:


PART TWO:  The second part of the project is an awards and community scoring element.  Your community can complete the score card include in the resource guide on page 60-62.  This score card will then be used to award communities as a Scenic Community of Mississippi and provide recognition to the communities selected as a Scenic Community of Mississippi.  You may download your community score card here as well. 

Return the score card to

MUFC at or mail to:

Mississippi Urban Forest Council,
164 Trace Cove Drive,
Madison, MS 39110.

Submission Deadline for Score card each year is September 15. 

Communities are welcome to complete the Score Card to qualify for Scenic Communities of Mississippi. You will find the score card and direction of entering your community here. Download your Score Card today! PDF  click here. PDF  Please see our sample below.


The Scenic Communities of Mississippi program is sponsored in part by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and focuses on clean water. Learn more about air, land, and water quality. Visit MDEQ web site at

Scenic Community of Mississippi Score Card

Contact Person: ________________________
Contact Phone/ Email :___________________

Directions: Determine how many of each type
of program(s) that has been implemented and
check the corresponding circle.


Total the points. Submit along with a photo from each
category and a paragraph describing each program

Tier II


1 2 3 or more

Conservation &

Land Management




Litter Prevention/

Tier I


Programs 1 2 or more

Water Quality

Crime Prevention


Tier I Total: _______


Tier II Total: _______

Tier III

Tier III Total: _______

Programs 1 2 3 4 or more

Total (all Three): _______

Nature Areas






































Community Revitalization with Trees

Community Revitalization with Trees

These model projects are good examples of how to revitalize a town, neighborhood or any community area with green infrastructure. These plans are very unique to the town and rare models of green infrastructure planning. This program provides training, educational material, technical tools and other resources to assist rural communities in revitalizing or enhancing local areas with community forestry. Through this project we worked with six (6) communities to establish local green projects to serve as a model for use by all communities. Training on Can-Vis (a virtual makeover program), i-Tree (places environmental and social services values on trees), MS Urban Forest Management Manual (a guide to develop a local comprehensive plan) plus where to find grants and other resources is provided as well as assisting citizens in developing a comprehensive urban forestry plan, sample planting project and a “green” strategy in each community.   These model projects demonstrate how to implement a local sustainable community forestry program.  The overall objectives of the project are to provide the tools needed for local citizens to enhance their community’s environment, community character, economic opportunities and quality of life.  

Mississippi  Urban Forest Council Sustainable Practices- Download the entire PDF (238 KB) click here.

If the governing body of a small community is to be sustainable, it must increase its tax base by providing job opportunities to its citizens living within its corporate limits. Sustainable practices can provide the framework to create opportunities for growth in the job market, increased tourism, and provide for a safe and healthy environment.

Manufactured goods and services flowing into a community and cash flowing out weakens a community, leading to poverty and a decay of environmental services. Cycling goods and services within a community keeps the cash flow within the community’s economy giving citizens control of their own destiny, and lessening the effects of outside economic fluctuations.

Mound Bayou Model Project : Greening the Jewel of the Delta - The City of Mound Bayou, MS was the first community to participate in the program in 2010.  This document will provide you with a complete plan and includes details related to ‘green planning’ for the entire city.  Resources to assist you are listed below and throughout or web site.

The Mississippi Urban Forest council offers your city the opportunity to create a green infrastructure plan to  revitalize your community. For more information contact Donna Yowell at (601) 672-0755.  

You will find many features of this model project easy to replicate in your community. 

7 Model Projects for Community Revitalization with Trees:


  A Green Plan for the City of Aberdeen, MS

  Download the entire PDF (4.4MB) click here.




    A Green Plan for the Alcorn State University, MS

    Download the entire PDF (3.4MB) click here.




 A Green Plan for the City of Columbus, MS

 Download the entire PDF (4MB) click here.

 A Green Plan for the City of Pass Christian, MS

Download the entire PDF (4MB) click here.

 A Green Plan for the Town of Terry, MS

Download the entire PDF (5.1MB) click here.

 A Green Plan for the City of Waveland, MS

Download the entire PDF (3.5MB) click here.


Jewel of the Delta Green Revitalization

Mound Bayou Green Infrastructure Plan - Download the entire PDF (21MB) click here.


The basic elements of the project include:

  • Local Training Workshops
  • Local Team Building
  • Green Campaign Development
  • Virtual Makeovers of Selected Areas


  • Determining the Community Forestry Values and Benefits
  • Local Tree Planting 
  • Comprehensive Urban Forestry Plan
  • Model Community Forestry Policy

 Resources for Green Infrastructure and Revitalization:

 CanVis Virtual Makeover Program -

Mississippi Urban and Community Forestry Management Manual

i-Tree Inventory Program -


Certified Urban Forests & Arboretums

Certified Urban Forests & Arboretums

Does your community have a good example of community forests or an arboretum.  On this page 

you will find the certifications forms for both Arboretums and Urban Forests.

Urban and Community Forest Certification Application 

Download Application PDF (141kb) click here.

Mississippi Arboretum Certification Program -Download the entire PDF (116 KB) click here.

The Mississippi Urban Forestry Council (MUFC) certifies Arboreta throughout the state of Mississippi. The purpose of the certification program is to define what the words Arboreta means in Mississippi and set standards for what can be called an Arboreta.



Edible Forests of Mississippi

The Edible Forests of Mississippi is an orchard program developed and administered though the Mississippi Urban Forest Council.  You may visit our first model project at the Jesse Gates Edible Forest on Bailey Avenue in Jackson, MS.  MUFC with it's sponsors and local partners have established 16 community orchards statewide. We hope this model project will inspire you to plant fruit trees in your community.

If you would  like to plant an orchard in your community please contact us for more information. The Edible Forest Toolkit on this page offers resources and basic information for planting an orchard. 

Sarah Campbell Blog

Julie:May 13, 2012 at 2:52 pm - What a beautiful memorial for Jesse. . . thanks for the photos.

Patty:May 13, 2012 at 3:06 pm - What an inviting garden–squash, tomatoes and figs to look forward to.



Download Edible Forest of MS Brochure





































Edible Forests of Mississippi

Educational Toolkit: 


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Sponsored Information

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Description: of the heat this summer, Loy Moncrief's been busy watering and weeding the community garden known as the "Edible Forest of Mississippi."

"We're getting ready to plant Fall things like lettuce and broccoli and collard greens and turnip greens," Moncrief said.

The Edible Forest is a collaboration between the Wells United Methodist church, the Mississippi Urban Forest Council and several other organizations. "We're doing surveys with this project and we hope that this project will inspire other groups as well as other individuals to grow," said Donna Yowell, the Executive Director of the Mississippi Urban Forest Council.

Most of the summer crops in the Edible Forest have been harvested, but you can still find green peppers, tomatoes, watermelon and cantaloupe.

Rolanda Alexander from "Operation Shoestring" says the garden is teaching local children how to grow and save money.

"If money is tight in a household you get out there and you plant some things, that way you know your family is going to eat," Alexander said.Description:

Herbs like Basil and Rosemary could cost $5 to $6 for a bundle at the grocery store.

However, if you grow your own you could have these herbs for about 8 months out of the year.

The plants to actually grow Rosemary and Basil only cost about $1.

"It could contribute significantly to your family meal and dinner table and lower costs," Yowell said.

The Edible Forest is entirely organic.

Moncrief says locally grown produce is healthiest because you can eat it soon after it's picked. Description:

"If you can go out that day ad pick an apple off the tree it's much healthier than one that's been picked in Washington and transported to Mississippi," Moncrief says.

Everything is the Edible Forest is free to the public.

The garden is located near the intersection of Bailey Avenue and Idlewild Street in Jackson.

For more information on the garden, contact the Wells United Methodist Church at 601-353-0658.

Also, check out the Mississippi Urban Forest Council's website for upcoming information about starting your own garden.





Storm Preparedness and Mitigation


Download City of Oxford Model Storm Plan and Strategies (59.6 MB)

Download City of Ocean Springs Storm Plan, Policy and Strategies

Download the City of Brookhaven Storm Preparedness and Mitigation Plan and Policies






Trees provide many benefits, economically, socially and environmentally to our communities. Trees can also have a significant impact as mitigation from storm damage or they can increase property damage and delay recovery and response. The attached Storm Mitigation and Preparedness plans outline best management practices and strategies to address these issues. The purpose of the plan is to help prepare for the next storm, reduce damage, save money, reduce debris removal, conserve utilities, improve local coordination and labor, speed up response and recovery time, while stabilizing the tree canopy and its related benefits. The best management practices will also outline ways to use trees to optimize mitigating storm damage. These plans and strategies are designed to be customized by any local community.

Storm Preparedness and Mitigation (294 KB)

Plan and Strategies for Mississippi Communities

Outline to the Model Urban Forest Storm Plan:

An urban forest storm plan is a program to prepare a community to deal with damage to city trees and the urban forest of the community. A program such as this involves both public trees and trees on private property. There are specific responsibilities for the public sector dealing with health, safety and welfare issues and specific responsibility for property owners. This outline is primarily focused on the public sector keeping in mind that public trees occur along streets, in parks, on public property. Private trees, known as ‘boundary line trees’ overhang property lines, walkways, streets, underground utilities and below overhead lines. Boundary trees are also a public concern. With boundary line trees, the public and the property owner must work together on those trees in regard to storm damage.

The following are considerations for creating an Urban Forest Storm Plan for any community of any size. A small community will adapt this plan in a way that meets their budget, personnel, need and capability. Medium size or large communities will adopt it accordingly.

Finally, the purpose of a Storm Plan is to allow a community to prepare for, manage and recover from damage to their urban forest following any type of storm inflicted by nature. Potential damage as a result of wind, fire, flooding, ice, hurricane, tornado, insect blight or disease can be minimized by having a management program in place.
___________________________________ ____________________________________
What is in the Storm Preparedness and Mitigation Plan and Strategies?

Sections on details regarding management, purpose, budget, duties, staffing, and developing plans and policies, plus the items listed below. We suggest that your town select several of these topics to start with to determine how you will prepare and handle the next storm.

Table of Contents:

Planning For Storms in the Urban Forest 5
Storms in the Urban Forest 6
The Urban Forest 8
Benefits of the Urban Forest 8
Community Tree Canopy 10
Calculating Canopy 13
Significant Trees 19
Hurricane Resistant Urban Forests 21
A Sustainable Urban Forest 24
Storms Over the Urban Forest 26
Best Practices for Emergency Storm Response 31
Planning 32
Management 34
Risk Reduction 35
Response 39
Recovery (Re-greening) 45
Codes And Standards 51
Summary of Best Management Practices 58
Appendix A Planning 61
Appendix B Management 62
Appendix C Risk Reduction 63
Appendix D Response 67
Appendix E Recovery 69
Appendix F Definitions 71
Appendix G Storm Response Directory 77
Appendix H Model Enactment Ordinance 79
Appendix I Storm Resistant Trees 80
Appendix J Sample Management Budget 80
Appendix K Storm Debris 83
Appendix L Sample Damage Report 85
Outline to the Model Ordinance 86
Suggestions For Property Owners 102
List of Figures
Figure 1. Mississippi, The Magnolia State 4
Figure 2. Inland Coastal Wetlands Are Storm Barriers 6
Figure 3. Town Center Urban Forestry Canopy 7
Figure 4. Minimum Canopy Standard, Single Family Districts 10
Figure 5. A Community of Significant Architecture and Trees 18
Figure 6. Ocean Springs Street Tree Canopy 19
Figure 7. A Community Subject to Coastal Storms 20
Figure 8. Wind Damage Within the Fall Zone 21
Figure 9. Wind Damage in the Urban Forest 24
Figure 10. Katrina’s Damage in the Urban Forest, 2005 25
Figure 11. Tub Grinder Recycles Downed Trees 26
Figure 13. Storm Damage in Ocean Springs 27
Figure 14. Post Storm Clean Up Activities 28
Figure 15. Felling and Removal 28
Figure 16. A Tree Crew Stands Ready for a Storm 29
Figure 17. Planning Prepares a Community for Future Storms 30
Figure 18. Management Requires that Someone is in Charge 32
Figure 19. Management of Public or Private Tree Crews 33
Figure 20. Management Requires Equipment to be Available and Ready 33
Figure 21. Pre-storm Reduction Cuts 34
Figure 22. Structural Pruning 35
Figure 23. Thinning and Training Operations 36
Figure 24. In The Trees 41
Table 12. Damage Report Outline 42
Figure 25 Lift Boom in Action 43
Figure 26. Recovery By Tree Planting Operations 44
Figure 27. Planting For the Future 45
Figure 27. Restoration Pruning 45
Figure 28. Planting A New Forest 48
Figure 29. Community Tree Planting Activities 49
Figure 30 Restoration Begins in the Ground 50
Figure 31. Landscape Code Administrator 52
Figure 32. Planting To Code Standards 55
Figure 33. Young Trees Become Ancient Trees and Shade Our Cities 57
Figure 34. Trees Form the Backdrop to This Place 59
Figure 35. Structural Similarity 63
List of Tables
Table 1. American Forests Canopy Standards 9
Table 2. Site Specific Canopy Standards 10
Table 3. Typical Office of Forestry Storm Duties 28
Table 4. Management Tasks for Storm Trees 33
Table 5. Tree Staff for a Large Forestry Office 33
Table 6. Storm Training of Trees 35
Table 7. Arboricultural Activities Associated with Trees 36
Table 8. Call Record Log 38
Table 9 . Response Stage Activities 39
Table 10. Priority of Tree Damage 40
Table 11. Essential Arborist Decisions 40
Table 13. Response on Private Property 44
Table 14. Tree Take Down Necessary 46
Table 15. Chainsaw Use 48
Table 16. Tree Ordinance Regulations 52
Table 17. Landscape Code Regulations 53
Table 18. Storm Responsive Regulations 55
Table 19. The Florida Principles 60


Urban Forest Training & Certification

2017 Workshops:

September 21, 2017 - Ocean Springs, MS

Agenda and Registration click here 


October 3-5, 2017 - Jackson, MS 

All Things Green: Sustainable Community Home and Business

Click here for agenda and registration


October 19, 2017  Southaven, MS

Agenda and Registration TBA 


Community forestry training is available throughout the state. All training is open to the general public and anyone can participate in training events. People who may be interested in attending these training events include citizens, homeowners, professionals, elected officials, city/county workers and others.

We provide classes each year at various locations throughout Mississippi. You may obtain a schedule of upcoming classes by visiting current events on this site or requesting information from executive director of MUFC, Donna Yowell at or (601) 672-0755.

We encourage training participants to enroll in the Urban Forest Masters program which consist of a series of training hours and volunteer opportunities. To receive your Urban Forest Masters certification you must complete 10 hours of training and 15 hours of volunteer service. As a participant you will receive free seeds, trees and other resources as available.  It’s important to let us know about your work.  When you do volunteer activities let us know by sending us an email or note with photos and description of your work.  For every 15 hours of activities you report, we will send you a gift of seeds, trees or educational items as available.

Use this attached “Volunteer Form”  to turn in your volunteer hours and return the form to Donna Yowell at or 164 Trace Cove drive, Madison, MS 39110. 

For questions and other information about Urban and Community Forestry Training contact Donna Yowell for current training seminars. or (601) 672-0755.

Jackson County Shade Tree Program

Jackson County Shade Tree Program

Anyone who has ever sat under a tree on a hot summer day has appreciated the cooling ability of trees but trees can do more than just provide shade for a picnic. Trees cool our neighborhoods in the summer and save us money on energy costs and related water usage and air pollution. The Jackson County project will estimate the energy conservation benefits of trees from direct shading of residential and public buildings. In a study released by the USDA Forest Service, trees strategically planted for shade can reduce utility bills significantly. As a result, local ower plants are not required to produce as much electricity and thus emit less pollution, including carbon.

Jackson County Shade Tree Program

“Trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30% and can save 20%-50% in energy used for heating.” U.S. Forest Service

“The net cooling effect of a young healthy tree is equivalent to ten room size air conditioners operating 20hours a day.” U.S.
Department of Agriculture

Mississippi Gulf Coast Programs

Mississippi Gulf Coast Programs - Download the entire PDF (154 KB) click here.

MS Gulf Coast Urban Forest Council - Monthly event and educational meetings.

Public Tree Give-Aways – Times vary

Free Master Urban Forestry Training – We will provide 25 hours of free training.


Local Tree Incubators - Tree seedlings will be donated to any city or county impacted by Katrina for growing out to supply trees for local planting when needed. Companies or organizations outside of Mississippi are encourage to donate seedlings , containers and soils to help accomplish this important activity that will help releasing efforts and inspire new growth in these impacted areas. 10 established to date.

“ If Trees Could Talk” Along the Mississippi Gulf Coast - story telling tape about the history of the coast under the canopies of the ancient trees. Free with $25 donation or membership. Free to coastal citizens.

Mississippi Arboretum and Tree Registry

Mississippi’s Tree Registry - Download Form PDF (339 KB) click here.

“A way to recognize trees that are notable and impacting our lives while honoring special people.”          

Everyone is invited to join the search for Mississippi’s trees with historic importance, interesting stories, planted in honor of an event or person, or simply big and beautiful.  You may also name the tree for a special person of your choosing when you submit the listing.  We will list this tree on our web site and you can link to our site and we will mail a registration certificate to you.



Mississippi Arboretum Trail 

The Mississippi Urban Forest Council has been certifying arboretum since 1997.  If your community or group has a site that you would like state certification please contact us.  Your site will be included on the Mississippi Arboretum Trail.

Benefits of having a certified Arboreta in your community.

 Encourages more visitors and helps increase tax revenue

Promotes being a healthy community and it's citizen's quality of life

Provides more agri-tourism and eco-tourism

Provide many social and environmental benefits

Provides a space for festivals and other activities such as trails and exercise

A nature connection for enjoyment and education 

One more reason for people to visit your town

Shows community pride and supports community volunteers

Makes your town even more special 

Click Here for Arboreta Certification Information and Application

Arboreta Certified Sign and Certificate