1,000 Football Fields Worth of Trees Lost in Philadelphia Over a Decade

Philadelphia's new "Tree Canopy Assessment" both records the damage of the past decade and makes the case for a new path forward when in comes to prioritizing the city's tree canopy.

1 minute read

December 10, 2019, 1:00 PM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Philadelphia Park

Jonathan Lingel / Shutterstock

"Philadelphia has lost the equivalent of over 1,000 football fields worth of tree cover over the last decade," reports Catalina Jaramillo, sharing the findings of a report released earlier this month by the city of Philadelphia.

According to the city's "Tree Canopy Assessment" [pdf], published with help from the University of Vermont Spatial Analysis Lab, TreePennsylvania, and the Gund Institute for Environment, trees offer a "plethora of ecoystems services," but the city's tree canopy has declined over the course of the last decade, led mostly by losses on residential land.   

In response, "[Philadelphia] officials kicked off a first-ever ‘urban forest’ strategic planning process last week," according to Jaramillo. "The reduction in tree cover discovered by researchers will lay the groundwork for the 10-year plan to dramatically increase the city’s leafy cover."

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