Urban Forest Committee

NC State’s Urban Forest Committee is a University Administrative Advisory Committee charged with reviewing issues and guidelines related to the campus urban forest.

The purpose of this committee is to provide guidance on urban forest management challenges, to identify and support the heritage tree program and to serve as the governing body for the university’s designation as a Tree Campus USA.

Because this committee supersedes the Heritage Tree Advisory Committee (February 2014 – 2019), the Urban Forest Committee also advises on selection, maintenance and removal of campus heritage trees. The committee’s diverse membership also advises campus urban forest management on the five main precincts of NC State’s Raleigh campus.


What is the committee’s scope of responsibility?
The scope of responsibility of the committee is to make recommendations on improvements and maintenance plans that have impacts on the campus Urban Forest and designated Heritage Trees. Specific responsibilities include:
1. Provide input on the evaluation of health, cost of damage and/or replacement and maintenance issues of campus trees
2. Make recommendations regarding the overall plan and implementation of a campus-wide tree care plan.
3. Assist with educating the campus community on issues related to Urban Forest management including removal and species selections.
4. Advise on development and use of a Heritage Tree Endowment Fund
5. Provide oversight of the Heritage Tree appraisal method for damage assessment
6. Serve as the advisory board for the Tree Campus USA designation
7. Coordinate with the Lake Raleigh Woods Advisory Panel, City of Raleigh staff, and other governmental and civic groups charged with managing urban trees, as appropriate.

How often does the committee meet?
The committee meets twice a year with special meetings called as needed.

How are committee members appointed?
Faculty, staff, and students are expected to have professional credentials or experience that will contribute to the process. The composition of this committee consists of ex-officio members and members on staggered two-year terms.
• The University Landscape Architect, Designated as Co-Chair of the Committee
• Director, Grounds and Building Services, Designated as Co-Chair of the Committee
• The Director of the J.C. Raulston Arboretum
• The Director of the Environmental First Year Program
• The University Arborist
• The Urban Forestry Administrator for the City of Raleigh
• One faculty member from the College of Design
• One faculty member from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
• One faculty member from the College of Natural Resources
• One member of the Student Body
• Three Facilities Division at Large Members
• One member of University Real Estate and Development

How does the university designate its heritage trees?
Heritage Trees are defined as “a landmark tree, or a grove of trees, that has developed historical or aesthetic value because of its form, setting, age, exemplary representation of genus or species, rarity, association with an important even or person, or memorial significance to the university to be preserved for future generations.” Criteria for selection include size, age, location or setting, species, health, aesthetic value, historical significance, rarity to region/campus and whether it’s an outstanding specimen.

Can I sponsor a campus tree?
The university has a Campus Beautification Fund that accepts gifts for the overall management of campus grounds. Give online


Appointed Members
NameTitleDepartment or College
Thomas Skolnicki (Committee Co-Chair)University Landscape ArchitectOffice of the University Architect
Sarah Ketchem (Committee Co-Chair)DirectorGrounds and Building Services
Gary BlankInterim Associate Dean for Academic AffairsCollege of Natural Resources
Alan DaekeDirectorUtilities Services
Stephanie JeffriesDirector of Environmental First Year ProgramDepartment of Forestry and Environmental Resources
Mark WeathingtonDirectorJC Raulston Arboretum
Elsa YoungsteadtAssistant ProfessorApplied Ecology
Julieta SharkAssociate ProfessorLandscape Architecture
Zach ManorUrban Forestry AdministratorCity of Raleigh
Jeff DelPinalProgram ManagerGrounds and Building Services
VacantUniversity ArboristGrounds and Building Services
Jessie AskewProgram SpecialistUniversity Real Estate and Development
David JosephusLandscape ArchitectOffice of the University Architect
Giacomo FaganStudentCollege of Natural Resources


Meeting Minutes

This includes meeting minutes from the Heritage Tree Advisory Committee, which preceded the formation of the Urban Forest Committee.