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Personal encounters with trees: the lived significance of the private urban forest
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-18, 05:36 authored by Lilian PearceLilian Pearce, Aidan DavisonAidan Davison, James KirkpatrickJames Kirkpatrick
Private trees are an important element in the social relations of urban landscapes, contributing intensely personal and highly textured experiences of memory, place and emotion. Drawing on emerging theoretical interest in human-plant relations, we report encounters with trees in gardens, and the effects of these encounters on decision-making, from semi-structured interviews in home gardens in the Melbourne suburb of Fairfield, Australia. Trees were experienced as active participants in urban life in five main ways: as producers of wanted and unwanted products, as messengers of social information, as reference points to places and experiences, as significant others, and as members of the community. We show how, in the residential context, nuanced and highly individual experiences of trees are critical in shaping the private urban forest. The urban forest can be planned and managed in ways that acknowledge this lived experience of trees as active participants in the fabric of urban life.
Australian Research Council
Publication titleUrban Forestry and Urban Greening
Department/SchoolSchool of Geography, Planning and Spatial Sciences
PublisherUrban und Fischer Verlag
Place of publicationGermany
Rights statementCopyright 2014 Elsevier GmbH.