As of November 7, 2023,
And as incredible as it may seem, 94,276 of Manhattan’s street trees have been interactively mapped, inspected, photographed, physically profiled, and included in a database that’s searchable visually, and by text, species, and location. Over New York City’s five boroughs, more than 861,000 trees across 540 species have been included. The Tree Map is a magical project—it creates engagement and volunteer opportunities while documenting and helping explain the value of trees in dense urban environments.
New York’s Parks Department reports,
“The NYC Tree Map is the world’s most comprehensive and up-to-date living tree database.” It’s updated weekly and I’ve given it a test drive. It’s fascinating. Using the map, you can access information about the trees managed by NYC Parks’ forestry team in all five boroughs—from those lining streets to those growing in landscaped areas of parks.
Broad detail is provided on each tree.
You can learn about their type, age, recent inspections, growth, and maintenance—and as a volunteer tree steward, record and share your activities and photos of the trees under your charge.
Trees benefit New York City in so many ways.
Using the most recent formula created by the U.S. Forest Service for dense urban areas, it’s estimated that last year, trees on NYC’s Tree Map:
—Intercepted and absorbed1.3 billion gallons of stormwater,
—Conserved 8 million kWh of energy,
—Removed 1.5 million pounds of air pollutants, and
—Provided more than $127 million in total annual benefits.
The Tree Map project started in 2015.
Bloomberg reports that New York City has no shortage of arbor enthusiasts, “The immense amount of data at the root of the map was the result of a comprehensive tree survey conducted by more than 2,300 volunteers between 2015 and 2016. Another dozen volunteers later joined park staff in surveying trees in New York’s parks.”
If you love trees like me—and Joyce Kilmer—take a look around The Tree Map. Be forewarned, it can take you down a rabbit hole. Don’t believe me? Check out the detailed background on a specific Thornless Honey Locust tree at the northeast edge of Columbus Circle.
The NYC Tree Map. Enjoy.