Trends in Vegetation Ordinances across the Southern United States

Kripa Neupane, Donald L. Grebner, Jason S. Gordon, Michael G. Jacobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Vegetation regulations or ordinances are the local laws that govern the policies surrounding urban trees and landscape management. The complexity of urban areas, within the mosaic of private and public vegetation, necessitates regulation to manage the numerous benefits of urban vegetation. As urban populations continue to increase, regulations governing vegetation become increasingly common. This article presents an analysis of the language and provisions of vegetation regulations within communities across the southern United States by using data from the Municode, a public database of ordinances, and employing a content analysis. Findings demonstrate both similarities and variations in ordinance language and content while identifying limitations such as unclear ordinance provisions, lack of essential ordinance provisions, duplications, and section contradictions. Overall, findings suggest a need to improve ordinance design, content, and language clarity therein, so they can have a more positive impact on community green infrastructure. Findings are useful for urban foresters, arborists, planners, and elected officials in efforts to develop or revise codes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1400
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Forestry


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