Dallas Urban Forest Master Plan
Growing and Maintaining Dallas' Tree Canopy
Why Do We Need an Urban Forest Master Plan?
The Texas Trees Foundation working with the City of Dallas and Davey Resource Group, Inc. has kicked-off off the development of the City of Dallas’ first Urban Forest Master Plan. The Plan will serve as a road map for the City of Dallas, providing detailed information, recommendations and resources needed to proactively manage and grow the city’s tree canopy. It will provide a shared vision for the future of the urban forest to help inspire us to care, plant and protect our trees here in Dallas.
The Urban Forest Master Plan Process
Throughout the Urban Forest Master Plan development process there will be opportunities for the community and stakeholders to learn about Dallas’ urban forest and to share ideas, thoughts and input on improving it. We hope you will participate in these opportunities — as your input is essential to building a sustainable and resilient urban forest in Dallas!
Plan updates and opportunities for input will be posted here and on our social media channels. Our goal is to unveil the Urban Forest Master Plan around Earth Day 2020.
Current Urban Forest Situation
Dallas, with 37% impervious surface, is the 3rd fastest growing Urban Heat Island in U.S., right behind Phoenix! This exacerbates the flooding and air quality challenges that we face in becoming a resilient city known to recruit and retain the best of the best workforce. Residents are asking for environmental solutions and the Texas Trees Foundation, using our Dallas research and expertise, can help. Currently, the city’s urban forest is hindered by the following…
- Dallas has a tree canopy of 29%. The U.S. Forest Service recommends 40%.
- The current canopy cover is fragmented and relatively low where people live — with 46% located in the Trinity Forest.
- New tree plantings are not keeping pace with tree removals and mortality adding to fragmentation.
- There are nearly 1.8 million potential tree planting spaces that remain empty, not contributing to the tree canopy.
- Future land use decisions play a significant role in the abundance, distribution, and potential future location of Dallas’ trees.
- Lack of funds have created an inefficient, confusing, and costly maintenance program — compromising tree health, safety, and diminishing the social and environmental benefits of the trees.
- The replacement value of the 14.7 million trees in the city limits is $9.02 billion, an asset for the city that is currently without a master management plan. (Currently being developed)
- The American Lung Association gave Dallas an F-rating from 2015-2017 for the number of high ozone days.
- Dallas County continues to fail in meeting federal air quality standards.
- Asthma related issues continues to be the number one reason listed for absenteeism in Dallas ISD.
- A mature tree can capture up to 67% of the rain that falls on its canopy. Effectively reducing peak flows in urban settings by as much as 8 times.
What will the Urban Forest Master Plan Achieve?
- Lay out a clear, coordinated vision for the future of the Dallas urban forest.
- Set up baseline metrics and unified goals for urban forest managers.
- Identify needs and resources to support Dallas’ trees throughout their life-cycle.
- Facilitate efficiency and cooperation among intergovernmental departments, and all other urban forestry partners.
- Address environmental challenges aligned with Dallas’ sustainability-driven initiatives.
- Encourage the preservation and planting of trees.
- Align urban forest management policy with community expectations and cost efficiency.