New York Urban Forest Fact Sheet


City Statistics

Population+ 8,175,133
Land area by acres* 195,072
Park acreage* 38,060

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


New York Urban Forest Facts*

  • The city has 5.2 million trees.
  • Two of the most common tree species are black cherry and sweetgum.
  • Approximately 42 percent of the trees are less than six inches in diameter.
  • New York’s trees:
    • Remove 2,202 tons of pollution per year, valued at $10.6 million.
    • Store 1.35 million tons of carbon, valued at $24.9 million.
    • Sequester 42,300 tons of carbon per year, valued at $779,000.
    • Reduce building energy usage by $11.2 million per year, which provides an estimated value of $167,000 in avoided carbon emissions.
    • Have a structural value of $5.2 billion.
  • New York’s urban tree canopy is 21 percent.+

* As reported in “Assessing Urban Forest Effects and Values,” which was developed for New York in 2007 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 No, but there is a tree planting goal mandated by the city government.
Quality of Urban Forest Compared to Others in Region Normal, which means some biotic damage and invasive species, some anthropogenic disturbance and some chemical and runoff issues
Tree Inventory Yes, covering public land
Tree Species Diversity Plan Yes
Tree Ordinances Yes, for both public and private lands
Comprehensive Greening Plans Yes, including a Green Infrastructure Plan, Sustainability Plan, Climate Change Plan and Harbor Estuary Plan
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 4.66
Percentage of Land as Park 19.51
Quality of Civic Engagement Excellent, 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