Current knowledge on the growth models of urban forest plantations several years after their establishment still remains poor and fragmentary. Furthermore few studies have assessed the growth of urban plantations on reclaimed land, such as brownfield sites.This paper assesses urban forest plantations in terms of tree height growth, crown width and vertical structural using as a case study tree inventorydata collected in an urban forest plantation (Parco Nord Milano, PNM northern Italy). In this research tree inventory-data was used to achieve the following objectives: (i) to develop a series of tree height-growth models and tree crown-width models for the main taxonomic units in the study-area; (ii) to analyse the temporal pattern of current increments of tree height; (iii) to assess the vertical stratification of tree crowns using a method developed by Latham et al. (1998).The results suggest that during the earlier stage after planting, trees reach high levels of growth (tree height and crown width) regardless of the taxonomic unit. Evidence is found to support a high level of spatial competition between individual trees of different taxonomic units in as little as 15–18 years. Competition between trees appears to be mainly affected by diametrical differentiation rather than hypsometric variation: trees grow more in diameter than in height. Furthermore a decrease in longitudinal growth was observed for most tree species while the radial growth tends to be constant over time. The research at PNM shows that in temperate climates this can be achieved in less than 30 years. We believe that these analyses could provide important data supporting the planning of new urban forest plantations on reclaimed land and inter alia provide some answers to the questions around plantations growth evaluation and management.
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