The influence of attitudes and perception of tree benefits on park management priorities

T. E. Jennings, S. R. Jean-Philippe, A. Willcox, J. M. Zobel, N. C. Poudyal, T. Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Urban parks are important public resources for outdoor recreation in cities. While the previous studies have concluded that people in general value parks and trees, it is still unclear how public attitudes towards trees and tree-centered management of parks relate to their support for park management priorities, and whether such attitude vary among parks within a city. This study surveyed visitors' opinion in three parks within the City of Oak Ridge, Tennessee and focused primarily on aspects of park trees to determine what visitors believed should be a future priority for park management. Exploratory factor analysis and multiple regression analysis were employed to data collected from 263 visitors intercepted on site (response rate of 78.5%). Results showed that visitors placed relatively higher preference on planting more trees, increasing species richness and density of trees, than on planting trees in straight rows or pruning or caring. Similarly, visitors placed comparatively higher preference on trees that are native, less hazardous, resistant to pests and diseases, have longer life span, provide shade, wildlife habitat, than those having ability to block out the view of city's developed landscape. Results also showed that visitors' personal preference of tree aspects and attitude towards trees significantly affected their support for future tree planting and tree care efforts in city parks. Findings will be useful to city planners, municipal foresters, and landscape designers in understanding public preference for trees and tree-oriented management, and incorporating such information in designing new parks, and enhancing amenity value of existing parks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-128
Number of pages7
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 .


  • Public attitudes
  • Urban parks
  • Urban trees
  • Visitor satisfaction


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