Tree Canopy Goal
In April 2009, the District adopted an Urban Tree Canopy Goal of 40 percent by 2035. Canopy goals are an important step for municipalities to set and pursue so their valuable green infrastructure is maintained at minimum thresholds. D.C. is currently at 35 percent canopy coverage. This compares reasonably well to urban areas east of the Mississippi River and on the west coast. At 40 percent canopy coverage, the District would go from the low end (Virginia has 35 percent) to the high end (Maryland is at 40 percent) for Mid-Atlantic jurisdictions.
If we preserve the canopy we currently have, D.C. needs to add 2,041 acres of canopy to reach the 40 percent Tree Canopy Goal. Assuming an annual mortality rate of 6 percent and using the rate of 100 trees equals 1 acre, 216,300 total new trees or 8,600 trees a year, will need to planted over the next two decades.
Tracking Our Collective Progress
Casey Trees cannot plant all the trees needed to reach the District’s Tree Canopy Goal; we look to our partners and D.C. residents to help.
To gauge our collective progress, we track tree planting efforts taking place across the District. Each January, we request tree planting totals from government entities and community groups that plant trees across Washington D.C. including the District Department of the Environment (DDOE), 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.
We include these totals in our Annual Tree Report Card to rate the District’s overall performance and better direct our tree planting efforts. The following regularly updated numbers include trees planted by Casey Trees this year and since 2002, as well as total trees planted in the District by all towards the Urban Tree Canopy goal.
Trees Planted Since 2002
Trees Planted This Year