As the city of Hudson continues in its efforts to support urban forestry, they are connecting with one group that is a key piece of the puzzle - residents.

In most communities 80 percent of trees exist in people's yards, said Urban Forestry Board Chair Ken Holman.

Residents can get an idea of their part at this year's Urban Forestry Forum at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20 at Willow River Elementary.

"The focus is on helping homeowners understand their role and what their own yard landscape contributes to the overall urban forest," Holman said.

University of Minnesota Research Fellow Chad Giblin will serve as the keynote speaker, presenting on how residents can make informed decisions on planting and caring for trees in their yards to benefit not only their property but the city as well.

Holman said Giblin will bring together all of his research in terms that relate to homeowners.

Giblin will provide research-based advice on the early establishment of new trees, from proper siting to planting to maintenance.

"We wanted a chance to present some examples of new and lesser use tree varieties that need to be better represented," Holman said.

The city has already put some of the research from Giblin and the University of Minnesota to work in Hudson, including gravel beds, elm selections and maintenance.

"We hope that what the city does is sets an example for homeowners," Holman said.

The forum will give residents a look at what the city is already doing. Holman said the forum will work to engage residents in the work on public trees.

One of the biggest parts of that work is tree treks around the community. These self-guided tree identification tours can be found at Lakefront Park, River Crest Elementary and on Vine Street. The project is designed to bring people out and "meet some of the shadiest characters in town."

This will also be a chance for residents to learn more about emerald ash borer, which was confirmed found in Hudson last year.

The forum will also feature a talk from Parks and Public Works Director Mike Mroz; a handout set on topics including emerald ash borer, the city's tree treks, trees of the year, boulevard tree planting permits and pruning trees; and breakout tables on Urban Forestry Board, tree treks, trees of the year, maintenance, bugs and disease, birds and the gravel bed system.