About Charlotte’s Canopy

Enter one of the following values and click calculate:

  • $
  • tons
  • trees
  •   Contribution
  •   tons Carbon Offset
  •   Trees Planted

Just released 2022 Tree Canopy Assessment – Canopy loss continues, current coverage 47%


What is Tree Canopy?

Tree canopy refers to the layer of tree parts (leaves, branches, and stems) that provide coverage over the ground or objects below the tree. In other words, if you were to take a bird’s-eye view photo of Charlotte, you would find that 47% of that photo would just be the tops of trees. Larger trees create more canopy than smaller or thinner trees. Due to rapid development, old age, and a changing environment, Charlotte’s tree canopy is diminishing quickly, with a grim prediction that it could plummet to 40% by 2050.  This would dramatically alter the temperature, health, infrastructure, and overall feel of Queen City so immediate action is needed. A quick video explaining the value of canopy can be viewed HERE.

State of the Canopy

In just 4 years, Charlotte lost the equivalent of a fully forested UNC Charlotte campus!  Read the sobering State of the Canopy study HERE.

Canopy Cover by Neighborhood

Another component for the State of the Canopy study are static maps that display current canopy cover and change in canopy over time by neighborhood.

An interactive map is forthcoming by the City of Charlotte – STAY TUNED!

Urban Forest Master Plan

Although Charlotte’s overall tree canopy cover is at 47%, our canopy is not equally distributed. Typically, underserved communities have fewer trees than wealthier neighborhoods. TreesCharlotte is actively working to address tree inequity by leading programs in partnership with low-canopy communities to get more trees planted and stewarded. Read more about tree distribution HERE.

Charlotte’s Tree Ordinance

Charlotte’s Tree Ordinance plays a vital role in protecting and growing the city’s nationally recognized tree canopy. First adopted in 1978, the ordinance sets requirements for saving and planting trees on public and private property impacted by development. Learn more about the Charlotte Tree Ordinance on the City of Charlotte website.