Urban Tree Canopy Data

Since 2010, Tree Pittsburgh has engaged with leading forestry institutions to conduct an Urban Tree Canopy Analysis. This analysis measures the area covered by trees, leaves, branches, and stems from above using LiDAR and high-resolution aerial imagery.

The imagery of Allegheny County between 2015 and 2020 was analyzed to benchmark tree canopy coverage and to compare changes in tree canopy over time. An Urban Tree Canopy Analysis has been conducted every five years, beginning in 2010.

      • As of 2020, Allegheny County has a considerable canopy cover of 51.7%.
      • The comparison between 2015 and 2020 revealed that 16,931 acres of tree canopy were added, and 21,047 acres of tree canopy were lost.
      • The net change in tree canopy coverage for the 5-year timeframe was a loss of 4,115 acres in Allegheny County.

Some good news from the data: the City of Pittsburgh had a net gain of 4 acres of tree canopy.

      • Many areas of canopy growth are directly connected to the work of Pittsburgh Canopy Alliance partners.
      • This news is exciting, but it doesn’t mean the work is over.

Data collected since 2010 shows Allegheny County has lost 2% of tree canopy every 5 years.

This trend is alarming, and a concerted effort is being made. The Pittsburgh Canopy Alliance is committed to working in and with communities across Allegheny County to increase tree canopy and provide equitable access to trees and the human health, environmental, and economic benefits they provide.

In their data analysis, Davey Resource Group identified four trends of canopy change in Allegheny County. Their findings and recommendations can be viewed below. This information will guide the work of the Pittsburgh Canopy Alliance.

Allegheny County Canopy Trends and Recommendations

Urban Tree Canopy Assessment

Urban Tree Canopy Recommendations