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Public Works

Tree Canopy Assessment and Urban Tree Inventory

Nashville, View from the air

Background

The Metro Tree Advisory Committee within Metro Public Works Beautification and Environment Commission has the mission to assist in educating the community and agencies of the Metropolitan Government regarding the value of trees and proper techniques for the planting, maintenance and removal of trees.

In 2009, the Tree Advisory Committee commissioned a Tree Inventory of the downtown area of Nashville and a Tree Canopy Assessment. The goal of a tree inventory and tree canopy assessment is to help stakeholders and decision makers understand what trees currently exist and appropriate methodologies to increase the tree canopy.

Deaderick StreetUrban Tree Inventory

The tree inventory is a count of downtown street trees inside the inner loop of the surrounding interstates. To truly understand and manage Nashville’s urban forest, conducting an inventory which shows the tree types, locations and conditions in an important first step. The tree inventory showed that currently, the downtown Nashville area over 2,000 trees with a combined replacement value of $2.4 million. The inventory can also help to project how trees reduce air pollution, energy use, and stormwater runoff, as well as have a positive impact on the local economy.

Tree Canopy

The canopy assessment is an estimate of the total amount of Davidson County shaded by trees. Generated by a computer analysis of aerial imagery, the survey establishes a baseline so that Nashville can begin to track gains and losses in its urban forest. It also shows potential areas for tree plantings to help prioritize putting trees where they are most needed.

Urban Tree Canopy (UTC) Data

  • Existing UTC: 47% (157, 947 acres)
  • Possible UTC: 35.3% (118,741 acres)
  • Existing UTC in Public Rights-of-Way: 15.3% (4,383 acres)

Existing UTC ranges from 4.8% to 66.7% in community sub-areas and from 13.0% to 67% in council districts.