Oct 3 2021

Piedmont Tree Canopy Crucial Climate Action Tool

How Healthy is Piedmont’s Tree Canopy in 2021?

The tree canopy is like an umbrella sheltering what is below.  Tree canopies vary greatly in their penetrability based on the density of branches.  It is easier to simply count the number of trees than to evaluate their sheltering effectiveness on a citywide or regional scale.  The Region 5 EarthDefine tree canopy >map indicates in 2018 Piedmont had at least 25 trees per person, using the 2010 census population of 10,667. How many Piedmont trees and significant tree branches have been lost in the past three years? 

California’s tree canopy was estimated to contain 173 million trees in 2017; the annual value of ecosystem services from these trees has been estimated at $8.3 billion and the urban forest asset has been valued at $181 billion (McPherson, E., et al 2017).  The tree canopy layer was created by EarthDefine, under contract with the USDA Forest Service and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE).  See map of 2018 California tree canopy here.

The purpose of the Tree Canopy analysis is to help communities plan to retain or create the Climate Action benefits from trees.

A tree’s canopy cover – its leaves, branches, and stems that provide coverage of the ground – provides numerous environmental, social, and economic benefits:

– reduce summer peak temperatures,

– improve air quality,

– reduce stormwater run-off,

– enhance property values,

– provide wildlife habitat.

Using the California Tree Canopy map can help communities develop sustainability plans, and manage threats to canopy loss.

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