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Trees In the District

Trees in the district
Why Trees? As the leading authority on energy and environmental issues affecting the District of Columbia, DOEE is committed to investing in, maintaining, and expanding the number of healthy native trees across the District.

Trees are not only a great investment that has been shown to increase property value and improve public health and safety; they have multiple benefits for achieving our environmental goals.  Specifically, trees help absorb and reduce stormwater runoff; improve air quality, create shade, and mitigate the urban heat island; help us clean up the Anacostia River and its watershed; and create a more diverse ecosystem where wildlife can thrive.

The Goal: By 2032, cover 40 percent of the District with a healthy tree canopy.

Tree Canopy: The urban tree canopy is the layer of leaves, branches, and stems of trees that cover the ground when viewed from above. The District’s tree canopy provides many environmental and social benefits, including reduced stormwater runoff and carbon footprint, improved air quality, additional wildlife habitat, savings on energy bills, increased property value, and enhanced quality of life. The District’s tree canopy also fosters social and educational opportunities and provides aesthetic benefits to residents.

District's Process: Sustainable DC estimates that the District and its partners will need to plant at least 10,850 trees per year to cover 40 percent of the District with a healthy tree canopy by 2032. 

In 2014, partners from across the District, including the District Department of Transportation, the Department of Energy and Environment, Casey Trees, volunteers and other community partners and organization exceeded the goal by planting 11,590 trees.
Canopy Coverage Chart
The Plan - 2013 District of Columbia Tree Canopy Plan 
The District has developed an Urban Tree Canopy Plan that provides details on the tree canopy goal and the actions the District and its partners can take to achieve the canopy goal.

Local Resources and Programs:

- Mayor Bowser attends the 2015 Tree Summit: Greening the District through Collaboration

Tree Summit Materials

  • Mayor’s Order establishing the Urban Forestry Advisory Committee (.pdf attached below)
  • Canopy 3000
    Working with its partners, the District has consistently exceeded its annual planting goals, earning an A+ for planting. Read More>>
  • Video of Tree Summit
  • Urban Tree Canopy in the Nation’s Capital – “The City of Trees”
  • Presentations
    - Impact of Urbanization on US Surface Climate, Ping Zhang, Ph.D., NASA and University of Maryland (.pdf attached below)
    - Historic Changes in DC Tree Cover and Implications for the Future, Andrew Johnston, Ph.D., Smithsonian Institution (.pdf attached below)