Boulder’s urban tree canopy is at a tipping point.
An urban tree canopy is the layer of leaves and branches of trees that provide shade and cover for the ground below. Ours has decreased between 2013 and 2020.
Losses due to Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and other pests, severe weather events, and other causes have outpaced new planting and growth. We could lose up to 25% of our urban canopy to EAB in addition to losses from other pest species like the drippy blight currently attacking mature red oaks.
This first biennial State of the Urban Forest Report describes the progress our Forestry team and the city has made since the approval of the Urban Forest Strategic Plan and outlines priorities to ensure we continue working to achieve our vision of a resilient and sustainable urban forest.
With Boulder’s urban tree canopy at a tipping point, investment is needed now to achieve our goal of 16% canopy cover throughout the city. Returning to 2013 canopy levels will require enormous action, both public and private. This critical work can only be successful with the support of our community and unprecedented levels of collaboration between public land managers and private landowners.
Trees touch everything. We need them, they need us, and it’s a long-term relationship. The impact of a newly planted tree may not be fully realized for decades, so investment now is critical. We hope that you are inspired to support Boulder Forestry and be involved in your urban forest.
The report includes photos submitted by Boulder community members. Thank you to everyone who sent us photos!