Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Regional Planning

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Robert L. Ryan

Second Advisor

Theodore S. Eisenman

Third Advisor

Richard W. Harper

Fourth Advisor

Dexter H. Locke

Subject Categories

Environmental Studies | Nature and Society Relations | Physical and Environmental Geography


Organized tree planting initiatives are underway in cities across the world in order to expand tree canopy cover, combat environmental threats, and create more livable places for urban residents. Trees along and near city streets provide a number of services for residents; however, evidence from environmental design and landscape preference research suggests that the perceptual effect of large-statured, mature trees may differ from small-statured, young trees. This dissertation explored these differences in three studies based in communities with active tree planting initiatives. Chapter 2 compares tree preferences from a hypothetical tree planting initiative to preferences for trees in other settings and also identifies the most influential characteristics to choosing a specific type of tree. Chapter 3 relates subjective and objective measures of street-facing trees to resident satisfaction and explores the role of resident satisfaction to potential participation in an urban tree planting initiative. Chapter 4 explores the role of street trees to pedestrian perceptions of safety, based on the presence, maturity, and absence of trees. Implications for theory, research methodology, and practice are considered in the final chapter.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.