Urban Tree Canopy Assessment

About the Urban Tree Canopy Assessment

The trees that comprise the urban forest of Saint Paul provide a variety of benefits. Trees are our largest source of green infrastructure and enhance the landscape by providing shade to homes, roads and parking lots, and provide color, beauty and character to the community. Trees also provide benefits behind the scenes, such as the interception and storage of rainwater and carbon, the reduction of noise pollution and have proven to reduce crime and stress. This page explores the various ways trees enhance our lives and provides insight into the urban forest of Saint Paul at various scales: the entire urban forest, planning districts, parcels, and individual trees. With the emerald ash borer poised to dramatically change the landscape of the urban forest, Saint Paul Forestry is continually collecting data and searching for the best ways to keep the urban forest healthy, diverse, and green.

The City of Saint Paul Urban Forest

In 2010, the University of Minnesota Spatial Analysis Laboratory performed a land cover classification for the City of Saint Paul defining tree canopy, impervious surface, buildings, water, grass and bare soil. The links below highlight the results of the classification. The documents are large and will take a few minutes to download.

Digital Classification and Mapping of Urban Tree Cover: City of Saint Paul {PDF}

City of Saint Paul Urban Tree Canopy Assessment 2011 {PDF}

Highlights:

  • Tree canopy covers 32.5% of the total land area of Saint Paul
  • 66.2% of Saint Paul is suitable for tree canopy cover
  • Residential, single-family parcels offer the greatest area for increased canopy cover

Canopy Comparisons:Chicago, IL 17.2% / New York City, NY 24% / Des Moines, IA 27% / Minneapolis, MN 31.5% / Saint Paul, MN 32.5% / Washington D.C. 35%

What is the value of the trees in your yard? Find out by visiting the National Tree Benefit Calculator.

Street Tree Assessments by Planning District

Saint Paul Forestry, with the help of iTree software (developed by the USDA Forest Service) have developed street tree assessments by planning district. The reports are derived from boulevard tree inventories and describe the environmental and financial benefits of street trees. Saint Paul Urban Foresters utilize the reports in planning for future boulevard plantings. 

  • District 1 (Eastview, Conway, Battle Creek, Highwood Hills): Inventory in progress
  • District 2 (Greater East Side): Inventory complete/ Report complete
  • District 3 (West Side): Inventory complete/ Report complete
  • District 4 (Dayton's Bluff): Inventory in progress
  • District 5 (Payne-Phalen): Inventory complete/ Report complete
  • District 6 (North End-South Como): Inventory complete/Report complete
  • District 7 (Thomas-Dale): Inventory complete/ Report complete
  • District 8 (Summit-University): Inventory complete/Report complete
  • District 9 (West Seventh): Inventory complete/ Report complete
  • District 10 (Como): Inventory complete/ Report in writing phase
  • District 11 (Hamline-Midway): Inventory complete/ Report complete
  • District 12 (St Anthony Park): Inventory complete/ Report complete
  • District 13 (Union Park): Inventory complete/ Report complete
  • District 14 (Macalester-Groveland): Inventory complete/ Report complete
  • District 15 (Highland Park): Inventory Complete/ Report complete
  • District 16 (Summit Hill): Inventory Complete/Report complete