Past TreesCount! Censuses

Two people measuring a tree
Photo provided by TreeKIT

In 1995 and 2005, hundreds of volunteers joined us to inventory our street tree population.  These inventory efforts resulted in an unprecedented understanding of NYC’s urban forest, and catalyzed major advances in New York City’s urban forest management.

1995-1996 Street Tree Census

The 1995-1996 Street Tree Census provided detailed information on the number, size, and species of street trees in New York City for the first time.  The census also revealed that the city had more than 10,000 dead street trees. We used that information to create a block pruning tree maintenance program, and began a commitment to remove all dead street trees within 30 days of the initial request.

2005-2006 Street Tree Census

Ten years later, the 2005-2006 Street Tree Census found 592,130 trees growing along New York City’s streets – a 19 percent increase over the 1995-1996 census.  This new tree inventory allowed us to estimate the environmental services provided by New York City’s street trees, which include air quality improvement, energy savings, carbon sequestration, reducing stormwater runoff and other aesthetic benefits. These services are estimated to be worth almost $122 million annually. Armed with this knowledge of the benefits that our street trees provided, NYC launched the MillionTreesNYC initiative – our pledge to plant and care for one million trees, and engage and grow the number of tree stewards and volunteers across the five boroughs.

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