Charlottesville Tree canopy continues to decline 

A contractor working on the calculation of the Charlottesville’s tree canopy has turned in the first set of data. Chris Gensic is with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department and he spoke to the Tree Commission on Tuesday. (watch the meeting)

“We have lost some canopy,” Gensic said. “I think their average right now is in the 40 percent plus a little bit of change, not quite to 41 percent. I think the first one we did, we were in the 47 realm maybe in ‘08.” 

That number dropped further to 45 percent in 2015. (Urban Canopy Reports)

Gensic said he is going through the data neighborhood by neighborhood to see how it compares to previous tree canopy reports.

“Is it that the aerial photo is of a different quality?” Gensic asked. “We’re trying to keep these five-year increments pretty consistent in terms of how data is gathered and how its analyzed so we can say consistently that the loss or gain in trees is actual trees but not an anomaly in the data.”

Gensic said a final report will be ready by sometime in January but could be available by the end of the month. He asked Tree Commissioners to take a look at the preliminary data to see what their interpretations are. The data collection was delayed by the pandemic. 


Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the December 9, 2021 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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