To investigate the characteristics and changes of rural residential forests of Linghe town,a typical rural area in mid-south of Shandong Province,13 new villages and 11 old villages as research objects were selected. Plant investigation and plant culture interview were carried out first,then the canopy coverage rate,plant landscape and human characteristics were analyzed,and finally these characteristics between new villages and old villages were compared. The results show that: (1)The overall canopy coverage of Linghe town was 1 213 875.7 m2 and canopy coverage rate was 10.05% in 2016,which was lower than that in 2012;specifically from 16.86% in 2012 to 11.18% in 2016 in new villages while from 12.50% in 2012 to 9.07% in 2016 in old villages. (2)Populus spp.,Cerasus yedoensis,Paulownia fortunei,Diospyros kaki,Toona sinensis,Chaenomeles cathayensis,Robinia pseudoacacia dominated the overall rural landscape,where Populus spp. accounted for the majority. Besides,comparing to old villages,riparian view in new villages exhibited similar patterns. Populus spp.,Paulownia fortunei,Robinia pseudoacacia,Sophora japonica,Salix babylonicawere decreased in courtyard landscape,but Cerasus yedoensis,Platanus acerifolia,Chaenomeles cathayensis,Toona sinensis were increased in courtyard landscape,while Diospyros kaki kept stable in that. Moreover Populus spp.,Sophora japonica,Robinia pseudoacacia,Salix babylonica,Albizia julibrissin were decreased in road landscape,but Cerasus yedoensis, Magnolia grandiflora,Chaenomeles cathayensis,Lagerstroemia indica,Platanus acerifolia were increased in road landscape,while Diospyros kaki stayed the same in the road landscape. (3)Human characteristics of rural residential forest include three types,i. e.,aesthetic appreciation,food supplement and emotional implication. Amongst,aesthetic appreciation and food supplement were the primary needs of courtyard forests in new and old village,while emotional implication needs was gradually reduced in courtyard forests,road forests and riparian forests.