Forestry in the Nation's Capital

Credit: District Department of Transportation
Credit: District Department of Transportation, Urban Forestry Administration

Washington, District of Columbia is unique among the states in the Northeastern Area of the USDA Forest Service. The District is a large urban center with an increasing population. This figure increases by approximately 661,251 people who travel primarily from Maryland and Virginia each work day in support of the federal government and other employers (46). There are several federally managed large green spaces but the city consists primarily of urban forest. Tree canopy currently covers approximately 35% of the city. 

In the District of Columbia, the Urban Forestry Administration (UFA) is the governmental agency responsible for managing the urban forest in District public space. UFA’s duties include planting, pruning, removing, and maintaining the health of the District of Columbia’s tree canopy, specifically approximately 144,000 street trees and additional trees on District parkland and recreational properties. The mission of the Urban Forestry Administration is to manage and increase the District’s street trees and to maintain healthy trees that provide: improved air quality; increased ground water retention that minimizes runoff and flooding; temperature moderation; aesthetics, recycled wood products and other benefits to the community.