What is the Tree Canopy

TreeGenerally speaking, tree canopy refers to the part of a city that is shaded by trees. Imagine for a moment that you are a bird flying high above Baltimore, looking down over the city. The tree leaves and branches covering the ground is our tree canopy.

The Tree Canopy

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service measured Baltimore’s existing tree canopy at 27.4 percent. American Forests, the nation’s oldest nonprofit citizens’ conservation organization, recommends a 40 percent tree canopy for healthy cities.

Baltimore has 43 percent hard surfaces (streets, buildings and parking lots) and 19 percent grassland (potential land to be planted). Some of the most available planting places are found on the front and back lawns of rowhouse neighborhoods. They can also be found on large institution properties such as colleges, schools, hospitals and industrial areas.

Why Plant a Tree?

TreesWhen you drive or walk along a tree-lined street and then drive or walk along a street with few or no trees, there is a huge difference! Beyond looking good, trees protect and enhance city dwellers’ health and property. Trees literally clean the air by absorbing air pollutants and releasing oxygen. They reduce rain water runoff and erosion. Trees temper climate; they save energy; they can improve health, serve as screens and strengthen communities. Trees can even help contribute to a community’s economy and improve our way of life.

Trees are the original multitaskers. Here are just 16 sensational things trees do:

  • Clean our air;
  • Clean our water;
  • Reduce flooding;
  • Reduce air temperature;
  • Reduce energy bills;
  • Increase property values;
  • Slow erosion;
  • Slow traffic;
  • Reduce noise;
  • Reduce stress;
  • Improve health;
  • Increase economic stability;
  • Provide habitat;
  • Beautify our homes;
  • Promote neighborliness;
  • Lengthen our road-paving cycle;
  • Improve our quality of life.