Tree Coverage is a measure of a tree’s crown when viewed from above and is the way we track the
progress that the District makes towards its 40 percent tree canopy by 2032 goal. The tree crown or canopy
produces most of the trees overall benefits.
Tree Health encompasses trees condition, species, size, and type. This metric helps us understand
how resilient the District’s trees are in terms of potential threats due to pests and diseases. It can
also predict the longevity and future composition of D.C.’s trees.
Tree Planting is a count of annual tree planting numbers compared to the total number of trees
that must be planted per year to achieve the city’s 40 percent canopy goal by 2032.
Tree Protection assesses the impact of the Urban Forestry Preservation Act of 2002 (UFPA) – a
law intended to slow the removal of healthy trees 55 inches in circumference or greater and ensure their
replacement when they are cut down. Under the Act, removal of a Special Tree requires a fee (or fine
if removed illegally), and the proceeds are used for replacement plantings.
Tree Protection Sub-metric 1: Is the Urban Forestry Protection Act (UFPA) discouraging the removal of
healthy special trees? With the update of the Tree Canopy Protection Amendment Act of 2016
(TCPAA), fees and fines for tree removal have increased. A decrease in permits granted was observed for
trees with a circumference over 100” (Heritage Trees). While we cannot ensure this decrease is due solely
to the TCPAA alone, it has been a huge stride in protecting larger rooted green infrastructure across
the nation's capital. Given these milestones in tree protections recommended by Casey Trees in earlier
report cards and the new baselines they establish, this sub-metric receives an A+ grade.
Tree Protection Sub-metric 2: Are replacement trees effectively replacing canopy removed?
Periodic assessments are necessary to determine if replacement trees are replenishing lost canopy due to Special or Heritage
Trees removal. For this sub-metric, we used our own tree survival study. Based on 15 years of growth,
we can determine that replacement trees are not only being planted, but they're also contributing positively
to the growth of the canopy, with a total of 85 percent of replacement trees surviving.
Tree Protection Submetric 3: Is the Tree Fund being administered properly? The UFPA requires that
the District use the Tree Fund money—funds collected from fines and fees—to plant trees, ensuring that
the removed canopy is being replaced. An examination of the last fiscal years Tree Fund receipts and
disbursements show that these monies were indeed used for tree planting, resulting in an A+ grade.