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. [PDF]

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. [PDF]

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. [PDF]

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. [PDF]

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. [PDF]

Harper, R.W. 2017. Review of The illustrated encyclopedia of trees (2nd ed), by D. Moore and J.W. White. Arboriculture & Urban Forestry 42(3): 83-85. [PDF]

Emerging Approaches to Tree Inventory Anaylsis

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

For more information:


​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. [PDF]

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. [PDF]

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.​ [PDF]

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. [PDF]

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. [PDF]


Harper, R.W. and D.A. Lass. Understanding the economic ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the arboriculture & commercial urban forestry sector in New England. Arboricultural Journal (in-review).

Griffith, E.E., D. Dyer, J.E. Dampier, C. M. Hart, J.E. Leahy and R.W. Harper. Organizational structure analysis of community wood banks: Ameliorating fuel poverty through local direct action. Communities (in-review).

Coleman, A.F., T.S. Eisenman, R.L. Ryan, D.H. Locke and R.W. Harper. Resident preferences for street-facing trees during an urban tree planting initiative in New England. Arboriculture & Urban Forestry (in-review).

Powning, C.B., R.W. Harper, D.V. Bloniarz, K.J. Kahl and E.M. Markowitz. Reviewing the use of research interviews and qualitative inquiry in urban forestry. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 128387. [PDF]

Hargrave, J.R., R.W. Harper, B.J. Butler and J.T. Mullins. 2024. Influence of community characteristics on urban forest management programs in New York State. Cities & the Environment (CATE) 17(1): 1-41. [PDF]


Lass, D.A. and R.W. Harper. 2023. Understanding the economic contributions of the arboriculture & commercial urban forestry sector in New England. Journal of Environmental Horticulture 41(2):48–58.  [PDF]

Healy, M., N. Geron, R.W. Harper, J. Rogan, D.G. Martin and L.A. Roman. 2023. Urban forest management motivations and practices in relation to a large-scale tree planting initiative. Society & Natural Resources 1-24. [PDF]

Coleman, A.F., T.S. Eisenman, D.H. Locke and R.W. Harper. 2023. Exploring links between resident satisfaction and participation in an urban tree planting initiative. Cities 134:104195. [PDF]

Harper, R.W. 2022. Review of The American chestnut: An environmental history by D.E. Davis. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 87: 128043. [PDF]


Hargrave, J.R., R.W. Harper, B. Butler and J.T. Mullins. 2022. Municipal forest program management in the United States: Reviewing fifty years of research. Forests 14:35. [PDF]


Copeland, C.A., R.W. Harper, N.J. Brazee and F. Bowlick. 2022. A review of Dutch elm disease and new prospects for Ulmus americana in the urban environment. Arboricultural Journal 44:1-27. [PDF]

Coleman, A.F., R.W. Harper, T.S. Eisenman, S.H. Warner, and M.A. Wilkinson. 2022. The multidimensional nature of urban street trees: A review of scholarly research. Forests 13:11. [PDF]

Griffith, E.E., J.E. Dampier, C. Hart and R.W. Harper. 2022. Food, medicine or heat? How firewood banks leverage local natural resources to support fuel-poor households. Journal of Rural & Community Development 17:(3) 143-164. [PDF]

​Elton, A.J., R.W. Harper, E.E. Griffith and B.S. Weil. 2022. Exploring urban forestry non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the Eastern United States. Arboricultural Journal 44:1-18.[PDF]

​Elton, A.J., R.W. Harper, L.F. Bullard, E.E. Griffith and B.S. Weil. 2022. Volunteer engagement in urban forestry in the United States: A review of the literature. Arboricultural Journal 44:1-23. [PDF]

Harper, R.W. 2022. Review of The age of wood: Our most useful material and the construction of civilization, by R. Ennos. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 68: 127469. [PDF]


Coleman, A.F., R.L. Ryan, T.S. Eisenman, D.H. Locke and R.W. Harper. 2021. The influence of street trees on pedestrian perceptions of safety: Results from environmental justice areas of Massachusetts, U.S. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening 64: 1-11. [PDF]

Eisenman, T.S., T. Flanders, R.W. Harper, R.J. Hauer and K. Lieberknecht. 2021. Traits of a bloom: A nationwide survey of U.S. urban tree planting initiatives (TPIs). Urban Forestry and Urban Greening 61: 1-15. [PDF]

Bocsi, T., R.W. Harper, S. DeStefano and D.A. Lass. 2021. Historical and cultural perspectives of oak trees in the American landscape. Arboricultural Journal 43(2): 1-9. [PDF]  

Bocsi, T., R.W. Harper, P.S. Warren, and S. DeStefano. 2021. Exploring the ecology of establishing oak trees in urban settings of the Northeast. Cities and the Environment (CATE) 14(1): 1-20. [PDF]

Mei, P. V. Malik, R.W. Harper and J.M. Jiménez. 2021. Air pollution, human health and the benefits of trees: A biomolecular and physiologic perspective. Arboricultural Journal 43: 1-22. [PDF] 

Harper, R.W. 2021. Review of The tree book: Superior selections for landscapes, streetscapes, and gardens, by M.A. Dirr & K.S. Warren. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 62: 127162. [PDF]

Research Briefs

Research made available to the community. Archived original research footage from the ​University of Massachusetts Department of Environmental Conservation, Amherst, MA.

Dr. Rick W. Harper
Extension Professor of Urban & Community Forestry

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



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. [PDF]

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. [PDF]

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.[PDF]

​Harper, R.W. 2018. Review of hemlock: A forest giant on the edge, by D. R. Foster. Journal of Forestry 116(1): 88-89. [PDF]

Comparing Nursery Production Systems

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. 2019. Review of A history of urban forests, by J. Jonnes. Journal of Forestry 117(3): 313-314.​ [PDF]

American Elm Restoration Research @ University of Massachusetts.

Click on the poster thumbnail below to download the full-size PDF.

Free PDF Download (McElhinney, A.M. & R.W. Harper. 2019. Planting for resilience: Selecting urban trees in MA. Dep't of Environmental Conservation, University of Massachusetts. 106 pp.)

​​​​Urban Forestry Today

Plant Preferences (Dampier et al. 2015).

Human Perception's research regarding Chinese hemlock, Eastern hemlock trees.


MA Street Tree Selection Guide


Harper, R.W., E.S. Huff, D.V. Bloniarz, S. DeStefano, C.R. Nicolson and M. Davidsohn. 2020. Employing qualitative research interviews to understand urban forestry stakeholder continuing education needs. Arboricultural Journal 42: 1-11. [PDF]

Harper, R.W. 2020. Review of Witness tree, by L.V. Mapes. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 55: 126787. [PDF]​


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, commences Page 8. [PDF]

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. [PDF]

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.​ [PDF]

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. [PDF]


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.​​ [PDF]

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. [PDF]


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.​​ [PDF]


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.​ [PDF]