USDA Forest Service

Forest Inventory and Analysis National Program


Forest Inventory & Analysis
National Office
U.S. Forest Service
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-0003

(703) 605-4177

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

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Program Features

Urban FIA Program


Urban trees and natural spaces are critical to human health and well-being. A neighborhood's trees moderate air and water pollution, reduce heating and cooling costs, and provide shade and shelter from the hot summer sun. Healthy trees can provide wildlife habitat and improve real estate values. Research shows that trees improve mental health and strengthen social connections. Trees, parks, and other green spaces get people outside, helping to foster active living and neighborhood pride. We can all appreciate these benefits, and the more we know about the trees in our cities and towns the better we can nurture them and sustain their benefits. Generally speaking we seem to know quite a bit about traditional rural forests, but what do we know about forests in developed areas? What do they look like? How are they managed? How are they changing? These are many of the same questions that the USDA Forest Service's Forest Inventory & Analysis (FIA) program sets out to explore in its' rural based inventory. FIA has three components: Forest Inventory & Analysis, National Woodland Owner Survey (NWOS), and Timber Products Output (TPO).


Given the importance of urban lands, Urban FIA has three parallel components:
1) Urban Forest Inventory & Analysis
2) Urban National Landowner Survey (UNLS)
3) Urban Wood Flows


1. Urban Forest Inventory & Analysis
The FIA program has established itself as the only comprehensive field-based and annually updated inventory of all forest ownerships for each of the 50 states in terms of measuring forest land; which is defined as forested areas that are not developed for nonforest land uses, are at least an acre in size and 120' in width, and contain a Live Plus Missing Canopy Cover of at least 10%. FIA only collects minimal data on areas that do not meet this definition. Even though many of these areas do contain trees, they don't meet the historic FIA definition of forest land and therefore many of these trees are not included in the overall inventory. In order to prevent such areas from falling through the gaps the FIA program has collaborated with i-Tree a state-of-the-art, peer-reviewed software suite from the USDA Forest Service that provides urban forestry analysis and benefits assessment tools. The i-Tree Tools help communities of all sizes to strengthen their urban forest management and advocacy efforts by quantifying the structure of community trees and the environmental services that trees provide. This collaboration has fused the infrastructure of the FIA program and the urban inventory expertise of the i-Tree program together to form the new Urban FIA protocols which will be used to produce design-based estimates of the quantity, health, composition, and benefits of urban trees and forests.


My City's Trees

My City's Trees is a web-based application, developed with our partners -Texas A&M University and iTree, that allows users to explore urban forest inventory data associated with U.S. cities, with data from many more cities to come.

Urban FIA Implementation Status:



Urban FIA Reporting:

Urban FIA Webinars:

Urban FIA Partner Websites:


Data Collection Field Guides and Certification Tools


2. Urban National Landowner Survey:
Urban areas in the conterminous United States occupy 2.7% (60.2 million acres) of the land base and contain approximately 80.7% of the US population. Urban population growth and land development are expected to continue their upward trends. Healthy urban tree canopy and sustainable urban land management can help mitigate the environmental impacts of urbanization. The USDA Forest Service's Urban Forest Inventory and Analysis (Urban FIA) program has made efforts to improve our understanding the biophysical aspects of the urban tree canopy, and these efforts are now complemented by the Urban National Landowner Survey (UNLS): a concerted national effort to examine the social dimensions of the urban forest, i.e. the private landowners who manage the urban forest and other urban green space.

The Urban National Landowner Survey collects data across the following domains:

      Ownership and property information
• For example, how many properties are owned; if they are owned by individuals or jointly with a spouse, or as part of a corporation; if homes on the property are attached, detached, or multi-family units?
• For example, if trees have been planted, pruned, or removed, or will be in the near future.
      Neighborhood and community.
• For example, if the landowner attends community meetings, or attends social events such as cookouts and block parties.
      Urban wood use
• For example, if wood chips and much are purchased, if wood from the property is used to make lumber, furniture and/or flooring.

An UNLS survey was piloted in Austin Texas as well as Madison, Wausau, Milwaukee, and Green Bay, Wisconsin. The survey is being implemented in Baltimore, MD and expanding across the country.

3. Urban Wood Flows:
FIA conducts Timber Products Output (TPO) surveys to estimate industrial and non-industrial uses of roundwood in a state. To estimate industrial uses of roundwood, all primary wood-using mills in a state are canvassed. An equivalent assessment of urban wood processing and use is currently in development.

Urban Wood Resources:

Urban Forest Inventory Data Collection Tools:

National Urban Field Guides

Regional Urban Field Guides:

National Certification Tools:

Certification Tests:

Urban FIA Quality Control Score Program:

Regional Aides:


Related Content:



For general and technical questions contact our Urban FIA lead:

To learn about Urban FIA efforts in your area contact a regional FIA program manager:

For all other inquiries contact one of our national research program leads::




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USDA Forest Service
Last Modified: August 1, 2023

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