In the fall of 2022, a small group of Arlington County citizens (ACTS*) hired the nonprofit firm, the Green Infrastructure Center Inc. (GIC) to analyze the tree canopy cover of Arlington County, Virginia. The impetus for this project was the desire to document and track the state of forest cover in the County. Many citizens and members of the Arlington County Civic Federation expressed their concern that the canopy appeared to be on a downward trend. Visual observations, such as of trees in Fairlington damaged by ice storms, showed a canopy in decline. Other images taken throughout the County show numerous trees at risk of failure.
GIC calculated the current canopy cover of Arlington County, Virginia. They also provided an analysis of the future plantable areas, in order to document whether there was room to add new trees to make up for those lost to storms, development, landowner removals, and old age as trees weaken and die. This report’s purpose is to provide data at a level of detail sufficient to provide actionable information, by neighborhood, on environmental impacts, and to identify potential planting locations. This report provides an overview of those findings, citizen comments collected at public meetings, and recommended next steps to protect and grow Arlington’s urban forest.
* Arlington Consortium for Tree Sustainability (ACTS)