City in a Forest: A Look at Atlanta’s Trees [Infographic]

Atlanta, GA

By John Egan
December 23, 2016

In 2008, some forest sleuths ferreted out a bunch of data about the trees in Atlanta.

In a report released in 2014, the researchers reported that nearly 48 percent of the land within the city -- or more than 40,500 acres -- was covered by trees. Meanwhile, 22 percent was dedicated to vegetation such as grass and shrubs, and 30 percent was taken up by things like parking lots and buildings.

No wonder Atlanta has earned the nickname “The City in a Forest.”

To maintain the “City in a Forest” reputation, the Atlanta City Council in November 2016 updated the local tree ordinance to allow money from the city’s Tree Trust Fund to go toward buying forest land in an effort to protect the urban tree canopy.

“Atlanta is perhaps the only major city in America that retains a viable portion of high-quality, native forest land,” the Atlanta Canopy Alliance said after the City Council passed the revised tree ordinance. “However, most of Atlanta’s land is privately owned, so most of that forested land is subject to development. It is critical for the health and functioning of our urban ecosystem to protect existing forested land in addition to planting more trees.”

In honor of Atlanta’s commitment to preserving trees, we’ve put together an infographic offering some highlights from the 2014 research report. We’re going to go out on a limb and guess that you’ll want to rush out and plant a tree after you peruse our infographic. Or at least we hope so.

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