Why is tree canopy cover important?
You notice and enjoy trees here and there – in your front yard, dotting sidewalks and in our parks and forests. But there’s also a net effect. Combined, the area covered by their long branches and leaves is referred to as “tree canopy.” A region like ours should have about 30 percent of its ground covered by trees when viewed from above. Aerial photography puts us at about 20 percent currently. It’s estimated that we’ve lost about seven million trees over the past several decades.
Restoring that tree canopy will take time, since trees can take 15-30 years to reach maturity. For decades, there weren’t enough large-scale tree-planting programs nationally to compensate for trees lost to urban sprawl, development and just natural causes and lifespans. We have a lot of ground to cover, no pun intended. Plant One Million should help us make up for lost time, complementing successful programs already at work in communities across Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.