TreesCount! 2015-2016 Street Tree Census
TreesCount! 2015-2016, our third street tree census, brought more than 2,200 volunteers together in the largest participatory municipal urban forestry project in United States history. Using both high tech tools and survey wheels, tape measures, and tree identification keys, citizen mappers helped us create a spatially accurate digital inventory of NYC’s street trees.
Highlights of TreesCount! 2015-2016
The 2016 inventory tops all previous efforts in size and scope.
- Number of Trees. Surveyors mapped 666,134 street trees on 131,488 blocks in New York City, walking a total of 11,093 miles.
- Number of Volunteers. The 2,241 volunteers is double the number that participated in 2006. Volunteers completed 34 percent of the census.
- Innovative Mapping Technology. The use of innovative geospatial technology and a strong quality review process has yielded an exceptionally accurate inventory of street trees.
- Data-driven Urban Tree Management. This map and associated data is the backbone of Parks’ internal forestry management database, and supports short- and long-term agency operations.
See The Results
The New York City Street Tree Map
The TreesCount! 2015-2016 data was used to launch the New York City Street Tree Map, our accurate and detailed map of every street tree in New York City. Using this map, you can explore our city’s urban forest, learn about the species, size and ecological benefits of individual trees, record your tree care activities, and share stewardship actions and your favorite trees with friends.
Street Tree Density and New Tree Potential
Tree canopy confers ecological, economic, and social benefits and can be used to enhance neighborhoods disproportionately affected by environmental challenges such as excessive heat, impervious surfaces, and air pollution. From TreesCount! 2015-2016, we have learned that street trees confer $151.2 million in benefits to New York City.. This information helps us target greening initiatives, budget for and prioritize planting requests, and work with communities to enhance the tree canopy in their neighborhoods. Street trees occupy approximately 72% of the planting locations along NYC streets, with space for approximately 260,000 additional trees across the five boroughs.
The TreesCount mapping methodology accurately positions trees along each block edge so that tree spacing, size, and other variables including road width can be analyzed to measure how impactful trees are on the block. Among the top leafiest block in each borough are:
- Bronx—Murdock Ave b/w Pitman Ave and Nereid Ave in Woodlawn
- Brooklyn—Argyle Road b/w Dorchester Road and Ditmas Ave in Flatbush
- Manhattan—West 69th St b/w Columbus Ave and Central Park West in Lincoln Square
- Queens—Hillyer St b/w 51st Ave and Kneeland Ave in Elmhurst
- Staten Island—Fremont Ave b/w Kruser St and North Railroad Ave in New Dorp
Street Tree Fun Facts
This 87-inch diameter pin oak in Queens is the largest street tree in New York City.
- Planted in a row every 20 feet (the minimum spacing for New York City street trees), the live trees would stretch 2,470 miles – roughly the distance from midtown Manhattan’s urban canyons to Arizona’s Grand Canyon
- Growing in an open landscape, New York City’s street trees would fill approximately 2,000 acres, or an area 2½ times the size of Central Park.
- Volunteers contributed 12,000 hours of their own time mapping and inventorying our trees. This time can be valued at $100,000 ($9 per hour).
- As was the case with the earlier inventories, the 2015-2016 census took two seasons to complete (approximately 12 months total). A small crew of volunteer mappers even surveyed in the winter.
- The largest street tree surveyed in NYC is an 87-inch diameter pin oak on Douglaston Parkway and Barrows Court in Littleneck, Queens (see photo). The largest tree mapped in the other boroughs are:
- Staten Island—a 75-inch diameter London planetree on Bryant Ave in New Dorp (this tree was also the largest in the last census)
- Brooklyn—a 61-inch diameter London planetree on East 5th Street near Avenue N in Midwood
- Manhattan—a 60-inch diameter English elm on West 163rd Street and St. Nichola Avenue in Washington Heights (this tree was also the largest in the last census, and is a Great Tree of NYC)
- Bronx—a 57-inch diameter black oak on the corner of Bussing Ave and Edson Ave in Wakefield
Analyzing the Data
Just as in 1995 and 2005, our third tree census will help us support critical advances in municipal urban forest management and volunteer engagement. We are also releasing the complete data sets of the 1996, 2006, and 2016 inventories on the NYC OpenData portal for anybody to analyze, from civic technologists to community stewardship groups, from academics to app makers.
Browse the Data
You can also download summarise of our results below, or take a look at some of our generated maps.
- Download a citywide summary report of the results. Or download this report by borough: Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island
- Download the street tree inventory results broken out by community board, council district, or neighborhood.
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