Milwaukee Urban Forest Fact Sheet


City Statistics

Population+ 594,833
Land area by acres* 154,880
Park acreage* 15,189

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


Milwaukee Urban Forest Facts*

  • The city has 3,377,000 trees.
  • The most common shade tree species in the city are green ash, boxelder, American elm and Norway maple.
  • Approximately 67 percent of the trees are less than six inches in diameter.
  • Milwaukee’s trees:
    • Remove 496 tons of pollution annually, valued at $2.59 million.
    • Store 434,000 tons of carbon, valued at $8.97 million.
    • Sequester 8,900 tons of carbon per year, valued at $164,000.
    • Provide annual building energy savings of $864,000, which avoids an
    • estimated $39,100 in carbon emissions annually.
    • Have a structural value of $1.43 billion.
  • Milwaukee’s urban tree canopy is 21.5 percent.+

*As reported in “Urban Forest Effects and Values,” which was developed for Milwaukee in 2008 by the U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station

+ As reported to American Forests in its survey of the 50 most populous U.S. cities


Top 10 Criteria

Urban Forest Management Plan No
Urban Canopy Goal Yes, tied to its Economic Development Plan
Quality of Urban Forest Compared to Others in Region Street trees are in excellent condition, but ash trees are worse than normal.
Tree Inventory Yes, covering public land
Tree Species Diversity Plan Yes
Tree Ordinances Yes, for both public and private lands covering hazard and historic trees
Comprehensive Greening Plans Yes, including a Sustainability Plan and Green Infrastructure Plan, as well as a mayoral-appointed Green Team
Types of Greening Initiatives Protection of open spaces; natural resource restoration;urban forests for environmental justice initiatives;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 25.53
Percentage of Land as Park 9.80
Quality of Civic Engagement Good, with citywide stewardship and neighborhood interactions
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