Tree Canopy Goal

In April 2009, D.C. adopted an Urban Tree Canopy Goal of 40 percent by 2032. D.C. is currently at 36 percent canopy coverage. Canopy goals are an important step for municipalities to set and pursue so their valuable green infrastructure is maintained at minimum thresholds.

The following regularly updated numbers include trees planted by Casey Trees this year and since 2002, as well as total trees planted in D.C. by all towards the 40 percent tree canopy goal. We include these totals in our Annual Tree Report Card to rate our collective progress.

Trees planted by Casey Trees in 2016: 4003
Trees planted by Casey Trees since 2002: 23,517
Trees planted towards the 40 percent goal: 49,027

Based on the current size of D.C.’s canopy, the city needs to add 2,031 acres of canopy to reach the 40 percent goal. Assuming an annual mortality rate of 6 percent and using the rate of 100 trees per 1 acre, 216,300 total new trees must be planted over the next two decades. That amounts to 8,600 trees per year.

To gauge our collective progress, we track tree planting efforts taking place across D.C. Each January, we request tree planting totals from government entities and community groups including the Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE), District Department of Transportation (DDOT), U.S. General Services Administration, and U.S. National Park Service. Casey Trees’ own annual tree planting totals are also tracked.

Casey Trees cannot do it all ourselves — we look to our partners and D.C. residents to help. Consider applying for a tree through out RiverSmart Homes program and help us reach the 40 percent tree canopy goal.