Skip to Main Content
Measuring and analyzing urban tree coverAuthor(s): David J. Nowak; Rowan A. Rowntree; E. Gregory McPherson; Susan M. Sisinni; Esther R. Kirkmann; Jack C. Stevens
Source: Urban Planning. 36: 49-57.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (1.35 MB)
DescriptionMeasurement of city tree cover can aid in urban vegetation planning, management, and research by revealing characteristics of vegetation across a city. Urban tree cover in the United States ranges from 0.4% in Lancaster, California, to 55% in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Two important factors that affect the amount of urban tree cover are the natural environment and land use. Urban tree cover is highest in cities that developed in naturally forested areas (31%), followed by grassland cities (19%) and desert cities (10%), but showed wide variation based on individual city characteristics. Tree cover ranged from 15 to 55% for cities in forested areas, 5 to 39% for those in grassland areas, and 0.4 to 26% for cities developed in desert regions. Park and residential lands along with vacant lands in forested areas generally have the highest tree cover among different land uses. Methods of measuring urban tree cover are presented as are planning and management implications of tree-cover data.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, email@example.com if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationNowak, David J.; Rowntree, Rowan A.; McPherson, E. Gregory; Sisinni, Susan M.; Kirkmann, Esther R.; Stevens, Jack C. 1996. Measuring and analyzing urban tree cover. Urban Planning. 36: 49-57.
Keywordsurban treee cover, photo interpretation, urban forestry
- Tree and impervious cover in the United States
- Syracuse urban forest master plan: guiding the city's forest resource into the 21st century
- The relationship between land cover and the urban heat island in northeastern Puerto Rico
XML: View XML