The Tree Canopy of DC

Tree canopy is the layer of leaves, branches and tree stems that covers the ground when viewed from above.

The current average tree canopy coverage for the city is 37 percent, up from 35 percent when Casey Trees began tracking via our Tree Report Card in 2009, but down from 50 percent tree canopy in 1950. Despite this decline, research continues to prove how important trees are to our neighborhoods and communities.

Since the inception of Casey Trees in 2002, DC’s tree planting efforts have been steadily increasing. Casey Trees now plants more than 6,000 trees per year. These young trees planted now — which will live for many more decades — along with thousands of others soon to be planted, will help us inch our way toward the city’s 40 percent canopy goal.

Despite the progress, a growing threat – noted in this year’s Tree Report Card – persists: an increasingly large portion of DC’s land is covered by concrete and asphalt. And for the reporting period from 2015-2020, DC’s tree canopy regressed from 38% to 37% canopy. With a growing population and the need for more housing, this trend will only continue. More hard surfaces means more stormwater runoff, increased pollution and related impacts to the city’s already compromised streams and rivers.

With help from our partners and engaged citizen foresters like you, we can re-grow our urban forest. Take a class, volunteer or nominate a conservation easement and help us restore, enhance and protect the City of Trees.

Current and Potential tree canopy

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At Casey Trees we give you the tools and resources you need to become a tree steward in the nation's capital.

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