A Census for Trees?
Yes! The City lacks comprehensive data on San Francisco’s street trees. The Department of Public Works (DPW) tracks trees planted with permits. However, many trees are planted or removed without permits. Existing data applies only to a portion of the city’s estimated 110,000 street trees.
As part of the Urban Forest Plan, a census of 27,000 street trees will be conducted. Information on location, age, species type and condition will be collected. This data will be used to develop an action plan aimed at expanding and improving the health of the City’s entire street tree population. The sample census will form the basis for a Citywide Street Tree Census (which was completed in April, 2013. See the Full Report here). Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF) and Davey Resource Group are leading the census effort.
The Street Tree Census will focus on three neighborhoods that exemplify a range of street tree issues. These neighborhoods include - the Outer Sunset, Bayview and Haight/Western Addition. Data collected here will provide a snapshot of major issues faced throughout the city.
The Outer Sunset’s ocean air, wind, sandy soil and fog present unique challenges for street trees. In addition, many neighborhood streets noticeably lack trees.
Citywide Issues: Climatic conditions, limited tree canopy
Some of San Francisco’s oldest trees are located in these neighborhoods. The area's large population of aging trees has required DPW's response to a number of tree failures
Citywide Issues: Aging tree population, tree succession, problematic species types
The Bayview has a wide mix of land uses (residential, commercial and industrial) with varying levels of tree cover. The neighborhood also faces environmental challenges and has the highest asthma rates in the city.
Citywide Issues: Environmental justice, industrial lands, public health
For additional information on the Tree Census, please contact:
Friends of the Urban Forest