Austin Urban Forest Fact Sheet

Victor Ovalle, Austin Parks and Recreation.3

City Statistics

Population+ 790,390
Land area by acres* 160,969
Park acreage* 28,911

+Based on the 2010 U.S. Census
*Courtesy of The Trust for Public Land

 

Austin Urban Forest Facts*

  • 6,465 street trees in the survey area, representing nearly 100 different species
  • 8,460 park trees in the survey area, representing 96 different species
  • Crape myrtles, southern live oaks and cedar elms were the most abundant trees in the survey in both parks and on streets.
  • 67 percent of the city’s trees are 10 inches or less in diameter.
  • 24 percent of the city’s trees are between 11 and 20 inches in diameter.
  • Austin’s urban tree canopy is 30 percent.+

*As reported in “Urban Forest Inventory Report for the Transit Corridors and Parks,” which was developed for Austin in 2008 by ArborPro, Inc.
+As reported to American Forests in its survey of the 50 most populous U.S. cities.

 

Top 10 Criteria

Urban Forest Management Plan Being developed
Urban Canopy Goal Yes, initiatied in 2012 and will be reviewed on a five-year cycle
Quality of Urban Forest Compared to Others in Region Better than normal, with minor biotic damage and few invasive species, minimal anthropogenic disturbance, high water quality and good drainage
Tree Inventory Yes, covering public and private land
Tree Species Diversity Plan Yes, included in the Urban Forest Management Plan
Tree Ordinances Yes, for both public and private lands covering hazard, historic and other trees
Comprehensive Greening Plans Yes, including a Green Infrastructure Plan and Sustainability Plan, plus Climate Change initiatives across multiple departments
Types of Greening Initiatives Protection of open spaces; natural resource restoration; urban forests as part of planning for runoff, erosion and/or flooding; green jobs training; active involvement of environmental stewardship groups
Park Acres per 1,000 People 36.58
Percentage of Land as Park 17.96
Quality of Civic Engagement Good, with nonprofits and neighborhood organizations serving as leaders in promoting and organizing local stewardship for urban forests
Tree City USA* Yes
Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement Signatory Yes

*Designation awarded by The Arbor Day Foundation to cities that have a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

Critical Issues