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 36 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.

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.”

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

0
1
7
,
2
9
4

 

Trees Planted in 2014

0
0
0
,
7
8
9

 

Trees Planted Towards 40% Goal

0
4
5
,
8
1
3