• Start-up
  • Planning
  • Action
  • Evaluation
This project is used as a test case to apply adaptation principals to urban forest management at a suburban homeowners' association.

Project Area

Birg on a tree
This townhome community was built in the mid-1980s and is located in Naperville, Illinois. The project will analyze existing tree inventory to be used in forecasting climate adapted future tree plantings to enhance green infrastructure.

Management Goals

  • Help community prioritize ash tree removal and treatment plans in short term (1-5 yrs).
  • Assist homeowners with replanting program based on climate changes over long term (5-15 yr).
  • Removal of existing invasive species on property.
  • Management of land to monitor for forest health.
  • Maintain and enhance species and structural diversity

Climate Change Impacts

For this project, the most important anticipated climate change impacts include:
Increases in temperature may lead to an increase of 1-2 hardiness zones and 2-4 heat zones in the Chicago area.
Species distribution modeling for native species suggests that suitable habitat may decrease for 15 primarily northern species and increase or become newly suitable for 47 species in the Chicago area.
Many invasive species, insect pests, and pathogens will increase or become more damaging in the Chicago area by the end of the century.
Impervious cover can exacerbate the effects of increased heavy precipitation events in urban areas.

Challenges and Opportunities

Climate change will present challenges and opportunities for accomplishing the management objectives of this project, including:


The frequency of storm events and aging tree canopy provide many instances of immediate tree work requirements which uses up available funding for long term work.
Identifying climate-adapted tree species is relatively easy to do, however finding the tree species can be a very big hurdle in completing a replanting program. This is an area-wide and industry-wide problem.


Potential larger suite of tree species available for replanting due to warmer winter temps and longer growing season.

Adaptation Actions

Project participants used the Adaptation Workbook to develop several adaptation actions for this project, including:

Remove invasive buckthorn and honeysuckle in the buffer zones around the HOA. Suggest replanting with native shrubs.
Review tree inventory to highlight where the potential introduction of new species might aid in the transition of the removal of dying ash trees. Suggest tree species to be included in tree planting.


Project participants identified several monitoring items that could help inform future management, including:
No more than 10% of one species in the inventory.
Reduction in invasive species cover

Learn More


Invasive species

Last Updated