Maintain your Canopy

The most important canopy to consider is the one you’ve already got!

Photo Credit: Casey Trees

The latest national assessment shows that on the whole we are losing more tree canopy than we are gaining. Tree canopy is lost each year due to development, storms, pests and diseases, utility line clearing, natural mortality, and other factors. Although some of this loss is unavoidable, communities can take steps to protect their canopy and promote its long-term health.

Sustainable local programs are needed to conserve and manage the urban forest over time using tools such as policy and ordinances, urban forest management plans, dedicated funding and staffing, Tree Boards/Commissions where applicable, and diverse public-private partnerships.

What works in your community? We are compiling case studies on ordinances and funding strategies that are good models for other communities – send us your examples!

Featured Resources

Resources & Stories

Logo for Vibrant Cities Lab

Urban Wood Use Action Guide

A guide on using recovered and fresh-cut urban wood to build and sustain vibrant communities. Laid out in four different phases that cover the why, how, goals, and returns of urban wood use.

The cover page for "Financing Urban Tree Canopy Programs: Guidebook for Local Governments in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Financing Urban Tree Canopy Programs

This guidebook covers strategies to fund a local urban forestry program, funding sources, and opportunities to reduce program costs. From the University of Maryland and Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.


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Celebrating our Tree City Communities

Nationwide, over 3,400 towns have received their Tree City USA recognition and take pride in this distinction. In the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, there were over 130 recognized towns and cities recognized by this program in 2016.

Cover of Preserving Trees in Development Projects

Preserving Trees in Development Projects

This publication by the Penn State Extension details how preconstruction activities, tree inventories, repairing tree injury, and post-construction activities can help preserve trees in development projects.

an emerald ash borer sitting on a leaf

Video: Bay 101 – Emerald Ash Borer

Colleen Kenny, a forester with the Maryland Forest Service, and Paula Shrewsbury, a professor at the University of Maryland, talk about the efforts being used to slow down the emerald ash borer, an invasive species killing ash trees.

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Tree Board University

This unique online, 8-course training will help you learn more about trees, about people, and about serving in a citizen advisory role in your city, town, or village.

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Healthy Trees Healthy Cities

The Healthy Trees, Healthy Cities Initiative has a portfolio of forest health-related resources that have been compiled for you to view or download for educational uses.

urban watershed manual cover

Conserving Trees During Development

This manual presents specific ways to enable developers, engineers, or landscape architects to incorporate more trees into a development site and introduces conceptual designs for storm water treatment practices that utilize trees as part of the design.