The District lost one percent of its total tree canopy between 2015 and 2020, a net loss that would have shaded an area equal to the National Mall, said Casey Trees.
The nonprofit’s analysis of data collected during that period found tree cover shading 37 percent of the city, down from 38 percent in 2015, despite efforts by Casey and others to reach the 40 percent canopy goal set out in the District’s 2013 sustainability plan.
“The main message is that after years of hard-fought gains and the planting of thousands of trees each year by partners like DC’s Urban Forestry Division, Casey Trees, and others, we have regrettably taken a step backward,” Casey Trees wrote in its Leaflet newsletter.
In the coming weeks, Casey Trees will be releasing more data from its analysis, by ward and by ANC. To receive these updates, subscribe to the Leaflet at CaseyTrees.org.
As green infrastructure goes, it’s hard to beat trees, which are highly effective in managing stormwater and preventing urban heat islands. They are cost-effective and attractive, to boot. We wrote here about the benefits, and about free and low-cost ways to plant more trees.