The Charlotte 2022 Canopy Analysis uses County-wide land cover data to analyze canopy trends in the City of Charlotte and its Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction. The results of this analysis will serve as baseline data for future tree canopy efforts and policy work.
This analysis is the result of a project partnership between TreesCharlotte and the City of Charlotte with consultant support from PlanIT Geo.
The 2022 canopy cover & canopy change analysis covers changes in Charlotte's tree canopy from 2018 through 2022.
The results identify:
- Ecosystem benefits
- Potential planting area
- Urban heat mapping
- Neighborhood canopy distribution, and
- Other canopy issues
The result of this effort includes a new online Canopy Tool to be added to TreePlotter which will better help the public understand tree canopy and tree inventory in their area of interest.
Charlotte still has a robust canopy that provides significant ecosystem benefits. However, the canopy is still declining. The canopy declined 0.5% from 47.8% in 2018 with a total loss of 969 acres. However, the decline has been slower than previously thought.
Current canopy efforts are having impact but Charlotte is not on path to achieve 50% canopy if we maintain business as usual.
Important Themes & Next Steps
►Technology and methods have greatly evolved since last canopy analysis (2018). New approach will ensure consistent canopy analysis and “apples to apples” comparison.
►Charlotte’s canopy is resilient but still facing significant challenges.
►Canopy decline is still occurring. Planting and preservation efforts have slowed the decline but Charlotte is not on target to achieve 50% Canopy By 2050. However, results indicate 50% still may be achievable.
►Canopy equity should be a priority and guiding principle for future policy work.
►Additional research and analysis is needed. The goal is to complete this in 2024 with an update to the Tree Canopy Action Plan. This will include stakeholder/public engagement, and recommendations for policy and ordinance concepts.