An examination of vegetation ordinances within communities across the southern United States
Item TypeGraduate Thesis
AdvisorGrebner, Donald L.
Gordon, Jason S.
CommitteeStephen, Grado C.
Embargo TypeVisible to MSU only for 2 years
Embargo Lift Date2022-12-15
The complexity of urban areas within the mosaic of private and public vegetation has led communities to enact regulations to manage numerous benefits of urban vegetation. As urban populations continue to increase, regulations for governing vegetation becomes increasingly common. This study examined the variation in trends, structure, language, clauses, and provisions of vegetation ordinances within communities across the Southern United States. Qualitative content analysis using NVivo computer software was used for analyzing ordinances collected from Municode. Several discrepancies and similarities were explored in ordinance structure and content, along with problems such as lack of effective ordinance components (enforcement and severability provisions), unclear goals, unclear provisions, inadequate information, duplications, section contradictions, and misspellings. Findings will guide urban foresters, arborists, planners, and elected officials while developing new codes and suggest a need to draft better ordinances and revise problematic ones to increase positive impacts on the community green infrastructure.