Urban forestry planning occurs on several levels. At the broadest level, strategic plans establish the overall goals and objectives of the organization’s urban forestry efforts. Ideally, strategic planning is one of the first tasks undertaken in establishing a community forestry program. Also called long- range, comprehensive or master plans, strategic plans create a blueprint for administering and managing a community tree program. Strategic plans include input from local citizens, organizations, businesses, municipal staff and elected officials. They are integrated with other comprehensive community plans.
Urban forest management plans are specific to field operations of the community tree program. Typically based on a detailed tree inventory, management plans identify and prioritize site-specific tree planting, maintenance and removal activities within a multiyear time frame.
Urban forestry planning also takes on a variety of other forms. Land use plans, greenway plans, site development plans, public landscape design and maintenance plans and similar planning efforts require input from those involved with public tree care.