City of Charlotte launches tree canopy policy survey
Brittany Clampitt
Brittany.Clampitt@ci.charlotte.nc.us
9/11/2020
Charlotte launches tree canopy

As Charlotte grows, the city seeks to understand resident and neighborhood priorities for future  tree canopy policy updates

​Let’s talk trees.

The City of Charlotte has launched an online survey to gather feedback on the policies that manage Charlotte’s tree canopy – the area of the city covered by trees. The survey is available at www.publicinput.com/trees. It will remain open through Monday, Oct. 12.

Trees should benefit all Charlotte residents and neighborhoods. Trees enhance property values, improve air and water quality, reduce the effects of pollutants, provide shade and beautify communities. Although Charlotte’s current amount of tree canopy coverage is robust at about 45%, there has been a decline in coverage in recent years. A 2019 study by the University of Vermont and TreesCharlotte found that Charlotte lost 4% of its tree canopy from 2012 to 2018, particularly in residential areas. What’s more, current neighborhood-by-neighborhood tree canopy coverage ranges from as little as 8% to as much as 67%.

As Charlotte manages its tree canopy and balances other needs that arise with growth and development, it’s important to revisit and update the city’s policies on trees.

“The survey results will help us understand residents’ preferences and priorities when it comes to caring for the tree canopy,” said Alyson Craig, deputy planning director for the City of Charlotte. “Charlotteans take great pride in the tree canopy and we want to ensure it is a resource that serves our entire community.”

Responses will inform the Tree Canopy Action Plan, a companion document to the Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan. The Tree Canopy Action Plan will update city policies that preserve and grow the tree canopy. It is rooted in community priorities expressed through the 2040 Comprehensive Plan process, including health, safety, equity and affordability. A final report with new and updated tree canopy policies will be released in late fall 2020.

Additionally, the action plan will be a guide for the upcoming Unified Development Ordinance, an effort that will streamline all city codes into one document for easier compliance.

For more information on the Tree Canopy Action Plan, visit trees.charlottenc.gov and follow @CLTplanning on Facebook and Instagram.