Rick Harper
Extension Associate Professor of Urban and Community Forestry

​Department of Environmental Conservation
University of Massachusetts Amherst
160 Holdsworth Way
Amherst, MA 01003


Harper, R.W. and P.A. Weston. 2016. Potential of alternative Tsuga spp. as landscape replacements for T. canadensis: Longer-term evaluation and propagation of T. chinensis. Arboriculture & Urban Forestry 42(5): 346-354.​

For more information:

Harper, R.W. and P.A. Weston. 2015. Adaptation, performance, and host-resistance: Tsuga spp. research in the Northeast. RHODORA 117( 972): 514–515. (Abstract)

Yin, J., R.W. Harper and N.L. Bassuk. 2017. Effects of Tree Production Method and Transplanting on Root Hydraulic Conductance. Journal of Environmental Horticulture 35(2): 79-83.

Lemelin, R.H., J. Dampier, R.W. Harper, D. Balika, and R. Bowles. 2017. Perceptions of Insects: A Visual Analysis. Society & Animals. DOI: 10.1163/15685306-12341469. 

Harper, R.W., W. R. Autio, J.T. Finn and F.S. Rossi. 2016. Tree Wardens and public grounds management in North America: Overseeding athletic fields with perennial ryegrass to promote safe playing surface. Arboricultural Journal 40 (3):1-13.

Harper, R.W., D.V. Bloniarz, S. DeStefano, C.R. Nicolson. 2017. Urban forest management in New England: Towards a contemporary understanding of tree wardens in Massachusetts communities. Arboricultural Journal 41(3): 1-19.

Introduction to the American Elm Restoration Project in Massachusetts. Click on the poster thumbnail below to download the full-size PDF.

Lemelin, R. H., R.W. Harper, J. Dampier, R. Bowles, and D. Balika. 2016. Humans, insects and Their interaction: a multi-faceted analysis. Animal Studies Journal 5(1): 65-79.

Emerging Approaches to Tree Inventory Anaylsis from Rick Harper

This research update examines the use of flexible, open-source computer programs to estimate projections of urban tree benefits (Markarian et al. 2016).

Markarian, G., R.W. Harper and D.V. Bloniarz. 2016. Flexible, open-source programmes and estimating projections of urban tree benefits: A case study in Amherst, MA. Arboricultural Journal 38 (1):1-13.

Research Briefs

Research made interactive! Archived original research footage from the ​University of Massachusetts Department of Environmental Conservation, Amherst, MA.


​The Urban Forestry Today Webcast Series is sponsored by the University of Massachusetts Department of Environmental Conservation, in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, University of Massachusetts Extension, and Massachusetts Tree Wardens' & Foresters' Association. 

Harper, R.W. 2016. Review of Features from the past for the future, Branching Out: An integrated pest management newsletter for trees and shrubs, by D.D. O’Brien and G.W. Hudler. Arboriculture & Urban Forestry 42(3): 213-214.

Comparing Nursery Production Systems from Rick Harper

Planting a Balled-and-Burlapped, Conter-Grown, In-ground Fabric or Bare-Root Tree? This video outlines recent cost-analysis research (Green et al. 2015) regarding the planting of urban trees.

Harper, R.W., E.S. Huff, D.V. Bloniarz, S. DeStefano and C.R. Nicolson. 2018. Exploring the characteristics of successful volunteer-led urban forest tree committees in Massachusetts. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening 34: 311-317.

Bocsi, T.J., P.S. Warren, R.W. Harper and S. DeStefano. 2018. Wildlife Habitat Management on College and University Campuses. Cities and the Environment (CATE) 11(1): 1-14.

Allen, K.S., R.W. Harper, A. Bayer and N.J. Brazee. 2017. Nursery production systems and their impact on urban tree survival. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening 21(1):183-191.

Dampier, J.E., R.W. Harper, A. McElhinney and E. Biltonen. 2018. Modeling benefit–cost analysis of hemlock woolly adelgid host plant resistance with emphasis on least-toxic chemical treatment alternatives. HortTechnology 28(5): 624-628.

​​​​Urban Forestry Today

Chinese hemlock or Eastern hemlock? Human Perception's Research (Dampier et al. 2015). This video outlines exploratory research regarding these two hemlock species.

Scharenbroch, B.C., D. Carter, M. Bialecki, R. Fahey, L. Scheberl, M. Catania, L.A. Roman, N.L. Bassuk, R.W. Harper, L. Werner, A. Siewert, S. Miller, L. Hutyra and S. Raciti. 2017. A rapid urban site index for assessing the quality of street tree planting sites. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening 27: 279-286.

Green, B.L., R.W. Harper and D.A. Lass. 2015. Differing nursery production systems impact cost of planting oak species in the urban environment. Horttechnology 25(5):651-656.


Dampier, J.E.E., R.W. Harper, L. Schwartzberg and R.H. Lemelin. 2015. A comparison of Arborists’ and Horticulturists’ preferences of Tsuga chinensis to T. canadensis in the urban landscape. Arboriculture & Urban Forestry 41(1):41-48.​


Harper, R.W. 2015. Review of the ABCs field guide to young and small tree pruning, by A.G. Plenninger and C.J. Luley. Arboriculture & Urban Forestry 41(1):49-50.

Clapp, J.C., H.D.P. Ryan, R.W. Harper and D.V. Bloniarz. 2014. Rationale for the increased use of conifers as functional green infrastructure. Arboricultural Journal 36 (3):161-178.​

Harper, R.W. 2014. Review of wasp and bee management: a common-sense approach, by J.L. Gangloff-Kaufmann. Arboriculture & Urban Forestry 40(1):46-47.

Harper, R.W. and R.S. Cowles. 2013. Susceptibility of Chinese hemlock (Tsuga chinensis) to injury from autumn horticultural oil applications. Arboriculture & Urban Forestry 39(1):6-10.​

Weston, P.A. and R.W. Harper. 2009. Potential of Tsuga spp. from North America and Asia as replacements for eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis). Arboriculture & Urban Forestry 35(1):5-9.​