Nine Cities That Love Their Trees—and What They’re Doing About It

More and more American cities are working to preserve their trees. The impulse is mostly functional: Trees provide shade, purify the air, and decrease runoff. Jeremy Barrick, a leader in New York’s planting effort, calls them “amazing multitaskers.” Here’s a look at cities working to conserve their tree canopies.

Happy Arbor Day

New York




Washington, D.C.





By Ryan Morris, Meg Roosevelt, Xaquín G.V., and Matthew Twombly, NGM staff;
Sources: UVM Spatial Analysis Lab; USDA Forest Service; NYC Department of Parks and Recreation (data from 2010); City of Philadelphia (2008); TreePittsburgh (2010); Washington D.C., Casey Trees (2011); Baltimore (2007); Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (2010); Tampa (2011), University of South Florida, City of Tampa, and University of Florida IFAS; Austin (2010), Jon Meade, Watershed Protection Department, Policy & Planning; Oregon Metro Data Resource Center (2007)