Tree loss is an issue that affects many. Countless benefits to local communities are thanks to trees. To prevent tree loss from getting out of hand, residents and developers alike can perform sustainable habits to make sure the trees around them have a healthy future.
In 2014, Pittsburgh was listed by National Geographic as being a top city for urban tree canopy cover. This was based on data from 2010 that 42 percent of the city is covered by its urban tree canopy. From 2010 to 2015, however, the city’s percentage of canopy dropped by three percent due to invasive species and tree rot.
Other factors that can contribute to loss in tree canopy include construction and natural disasters. The loss of trees in Pittsburgh shows how quickly the health of a tree can change.
If trees are taken care of, they can provide value for a community. Some examples of services include:
Learn more about the benefits of trees and other green infrastructure.
This project in the City of Pittsburgh planted vegetation to filter the stormwater around the property. Annually, the trees planted for the project soak up around 260,680 gallons of water.
Consider joining local efforts and volunteer for a tree planting event. Tree Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania Conservancy are working to increase tree canopies and rely on volunteers to create green and healthy regions.
Construction projects are a great opportunity to preserve the trees already on the site and find ways to plant more. Below are a couple of ways that developers can incorporate trees in their projects:
In a Harrison Township construction project, trees on the property were protected by working around them. Over 20 native trees and three native evergreens were also planted.
“Benefits of Trees.” Arbor Day Foundation, https://www.arborday.org/trees/benefits.cfm
Henderson, Kara. “It takes a village to keep trees healthy.” University of Pittsburgh: Pittwire, University of Pittsburgh, 22 October 2021, https://www.pitt.edu/pittwire/features-articles/campus-upgrades-landscape-justice
Morris, Ryan, et al. “Urban Tree Canopy.” National Geographic, 2014, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news-features/urban-tree-canopy/
Onufer, Molly. “Pittsburgh Selected for Reforestation Hubs Initiative.” The City of Pittsburgh, The City of Pittsburgh, 4 January 2021, https://pittsburghpa.gov/press-releases/press-releases/4589
PITTSBURGH, PA., ORDINANCES ch. 483, § 1-4 (2004), ch. 485, § 1-7 (2004)
“Pittsburgh Urban Forest Master Plan: A Road Map for the Effective Management of Our Urban Forest.” Davey Resource Group, 2012, pg. 14, 18, https://pittsburghpa.gov/temp/documents/library/PittsburghUrbanForestMasterPlanFull.pdf
“Urban Wood Utilization in Connecticut: Reasons for the Removal of Urban Trees.” Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Forestry/Urban-Forestry/Reasons-for-the-Removal-of-Urban-Trees
Waltz, Amanda. “Pittsburgh chosen as Reforestation Hub to increase its urban tree cover.” Pittsburgh City Paper, 4 January 2021, https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/pittsburgh-chosen-as-reforestation-hub-to-increase-its-urban-tree-cover/Content?oid=18683750