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  3. TreePlotter CANOPY: Plan Criteria

TreePlotter CANOPY: Plan Criteria


Plan criteria allow users of TreePlotter CANOPY to visualize the areas of their city that would receive the most benefit from an increased tree canopy. These criteria can be adjusted to hold a high, medium or low weight of priority.


Areas with Low Existing Tree Canopy: It is important to understand the distribution of existing tree canopy across the city. This layer shows existing urban tree canopy and allows you to add weight to areas that are low in canopy cover.

Possible UTC: One of the primary purposes of this tool is to identify where to prioritize new tree plantings. This layer shows the percent of total area available for possible planting.

Air Quality: Street rights-of-way corridors typically have higher concentrations of particulate matter. Trees can be planted along roads to absorb vehicle exhaust and reduce pollution. This layer highlights the percent of road area. Higher concentrations of road surfaces may indicate poor air quality.

Urban Heat Island: Trees provide a reduction in energy use in the summer by providing shade and in the winter by reducing wind. This indicator identifies residentially zoned areas with low tree cover and high total possible planting area.

Critical Places: Trees clean the air that we breathe, filter the water that we drink, and can lower stress levels, in turn, improving public health. Planting trees can be a cost-effective way of improving overall public health. Critical places are places where people congregate outdoors, gather, travel to, and spend significant portions of their time. This indicator shows the total number of hospitals, schools, libraries, long-term care facilities and recreation areas.

Economic Vitality: The presence of trees aligns with increased economic vitality and quality of life. These data will help to identify areas of low income where tree canopy may be lacking. Economic vitality shows the median household income.

Vulnerable Populations: Trees provide many environmental and health benefits. This indicator shows the percentage of vulnerable residents who are under the age of 5 or over the age of 64.

Water Quality: Trees improve water quality by slowing rain as it falls to the ground helping the water soak into the soil, reducing stormwater runoff and filtering contaminants. This indicator uses Wellhead Protection Areas (WHPA) to identify areas with different soil transpiration times. Areas closer to the wellhead, with faster soil transpiration times, were given a higher priority. Values closer to 1 are higher priority.

Stormwater Reduction: Trees located adjacent to streams and water bodies improve water quality, provide soil stabilization, and intercept rainfall. This indicator uses a buffer around floodplain boundaries to identify areas near to and within the floodplain.

Wildlife Habitat Connectivity: Large tracts of connected canopy cover can improve habitat for wildlife. This indicator identifies available planting areas within 100’ of large canopy tracts (equal to or greater than 5 acres).

Updated on April 7, 2021

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