How many cities are still vying for the title of City with Most Trees?
Studies have shown that cities that have lots of trees can help reduce urban heat islands. Trees help naturally cool the heat generated when people congregate in large cities, as opposed to rural areas, which have lower heat concentrations.
So, a number of cities have been pushing tree planting initiatives over the past few years.
Their efforts have been fruitful, and the following information outlines what is the city with the most trees.
Urban forestry is not a new concept, but building treelined cities has in recent times become more urgent in light of accelerated climate change. The inventor and innovator of urban forestry and man who coined the term, Erik Jorgensen, started a revolution just over 100 years ago when he authored more than 60 authoritative papers and articles that explained the benefits of trees in urban areas.
His writings furthermore expanded on the techniques that he’d developed, with the aim to control the different diseases that affect trees.6
How To Determine the City With Most Trees
Today, out of the more than 10,000 cities on the planet, only a mere 120 have officially been recognized as ‘tree cities.’ This annual list still includes New York, which is the location of one the largest urban forests in the US, and Johannesburg, South Africa where the green belt has been estimated to be worth around R30-billion ($1.7 billion).
To determine the city with most trees, the list of Top 30 Cities by Forest Cover has established, identifying the cities with most trees per square mile. To earn the honor of being named a Tree City of the World, and earn a spot on the list, the cities had to fulfill the following requirements:
- Deciding on a committee that would remain responsible for the trees.
- Establishing the regulations regarding the management of the trees.
- Creating an inventory of existing and flourishing trees in the relevant municipality.
- Setting aside adequate funding for a ‘tree budget.’
- Publicly celebrating achievements and encouraging the public to get involved in building an urban forest.
City With Most Trees per Square Mile
The recognized ‘Tree Cities of the World’ include some of the cities with the most trees per square mile around the globe. In the UK alone, 19 cities (and towns) have been awarded the distinction of Tree City. The US is the location of 37 Tree Cities, while Africa, Asia, South America, and the Pacific countries lag behind.
Read More About: How many trees are in the world?
Capital City With Most Trees in US (2023)
|Capital City||Number of Trees|
|10. Houston, Texas||3,857|
|9. Chicago, Illinois||3,971|
|8. Memphis, Tennessee||4,059|
|7. Saint Louis, Missouri||4,764|
|6. Louisville, Kentucky||5,173|
|5. Nashville, Tennessee||5,360|
|4. Washington, District of Columbia||5,866|
|3. Cincinnati, Ohio||6,292|
|2. Kansas, Missouri||8,672|
|1. Minneapolis, Minnesota||9,833|
The hardwood forest is owned by the City of Dallas and stretches over 6,000 acres, completely overshadowing the 840-acre Central Park in New York.
Over on the West Coast of the US, California is holding its own in the race to grow greener cities in America. As a capital city with the most trees in America, Sacramento claimed to have more trees per capita than any other city in the world.
However, New York’s treeline is still outperforming that of Sacramento by at least 40 percent.
What City Is Known As the City of Trees? (City With Most Trees)
Regardless of New York’s stellar achievement, however, Sacramento is still known today as the City of Trees.3 This reference was first used in 1855 after 12 cottonwood trees planted by a miner eventually led to a transformed Sacramento.
Before the trees took hold, Sacramento was known as the City of Plains, because of the lack of trees.
City With Most Trees
At least 30 mega cities have had their tree cover mapped from space over the years, indicating the percentages for each city.2
All of these cities grow millions of trees and have indicated their intention to keep planting millions more.
30 Recognized Tree Cities of the World
- Buenos Aires
- Rio de Janeiro
- Sao Paulo
- Surrey, Canada
- La Union, Costa Rica
- Santa Maria del Mar
- Kampala Capital City Authority
- New York City
The Tree Cities of the World initiative has seen more than 2.3 million trees planted worldwide during more than 618,000 volunteer hours. Mumbai has been recognized and named Tree City of the World in 2023 and is only the second city in India to receive this honor.
What State Has the Most Trees? (Highest to Lowest)
Remember that land size plays a role in what state has the most trees, meaning that a state with a larger land mass will have more area for trees to grow.
|State||Number of Trees|
|Montana||6.3 million trees|
|Georgia||6.3 million (100,000 less than Montana)|
|New Mexico||6.1 million|
How Many Trees Per State?
Just how many trees are in each state in the U.S? Check it out by clicking a state below.
What Are Additional Benefits of Trees in Cities?
Considering that trees provide humankind with the oxygen to keep breathing, it is essential to keep planting them.
One tree alone stores up to 150 kg of CO2 every year while helping to keep the environment clear of harmful toxins. Throughout an entire season, one tree allows 10 city inhabitants to keep breathing. During flooding season, one tree can absorb a maximum of 450 liters of water via its roots, while the roots work to reduce soil erosion.
Related Reading: How Much Carbon Does A Tree Capture?
Trees also provide a lifeline to surrounding wildlife because it serves as a food source for birds, insects, plants, and fungi.
A total of 201 studies on the beneficial effect of the presence of trees in cities have been summarized in a framework consisting of Reducing Harm, Restoring Capacities, and Building Capacities. These components are explained as follows:
- Reducing Harm – this concept represents 41% of the completed studies and refers to the observation of the effect of a tree canopy on air pollution, air-borne pollen, ultraviolet radiation, and continuous heat exposure.
- Restoring Capacities – this refers to restoration, stress reduction, improved mental health, and a decrease in illnesses, making up 31% of the studies.
- Building Capacities – at 28% of the total studies, this concept relates to weight, active living, and birth outcomes.
The 201 studies comprehensively cover the complete benefits of a green lung in urban cities and the findings of these studies support the continuous planting and maintaining of trees while being cognitive of adverse health outcomes directly related to trees such as allergy conditions. The studies furthermore impressed upon the fact that planting trees in urban areas remains a low-cost exercise that provides essential benefits for human health as well as the environment.11
Tree Maintenance in Urban Areas
The ongoing planting of trees in urban areas requires continuous maintenance to ensure tree diseases are brought and kept under control, and to prevent and punish vandalism and theft.
A lack of maintenance devalues the effort of planting trees, as unmaintained trees often die off within a few years. For this reason, it is essential to evaluate the effect of pollution, road salt, pesticides, and poor pruning. Once the risks have been established, a proper maintenance plan can be implemented.
Tree maintenance in urban areas must include frequent watering before the leaves and bark start showing signs of drought stress. Weeding should be done on a regular basis to allow more water to reach the tree roots. Inspection for loose branches should be done at regular intervals and affected limbs should be pruned accordingly.
All cities that are recognized as Tree Cities have inspection and maintenance teams tasked to keep trees flourishing for the overall health of their citizens and as an added measure in the fight against climate change.
What Are the Benefits of Trees in a Community?
Trees offer a wide array of benefits when planted in city communities.
- Trees remove and store carbon dioxide.
- A green belt in any city or town helps fight depression, builds strong mental health, and encourages outdoor activity.
- Thick forest cover in a city or town reduces hot temperatures by as much as 7 degrees.
- Trees provide cleaner water by removing pollutants from rainfall.
City With Most Trees in Europe (2023)
The European continent is also a major player on the Top 30 Cities by Forest Cover list, and the continuous efforts of European countries to improve their green belt has had an overwhelmingly positive effect on human health as well as the environment.17
The planting of trees in urban areas has proven to lower temperatures during the summer season in Europe and especially during the increasing heat waves that continue to prevail across the continent. Tree planting boosts biodiversity and even contributes to rising property values, not just in Europe but around the world.
|European Capitals||Percentage of Tree Coverage|
With the constant flow of people moving from the countryside to cities, the need for greener spaces has become overwhelming. The biggest reasons for the ongoing migration to cities worldwide are better job opportunities, improved medical facilities, and schools as well as access to public transportation.
Moving up on the list of desirability factors when moving to the city is climate requirements and green spaces.
Places to Live With Lots of Trees
Green cities and spaces are increasing worldwide as the number of Tree Cities inch upwards.1 Some of the most popular places to live with lots of trees include the following cities:
With more than 400,000 trees, 75,000 of which are Elms, Amsterdam is known as the Elm city of Europe. The capital of the Netherlands had its first trees planted as far back as 1340 and those found guilty of damaging any trees in the city lost their right hand as punishment.
At the end of WWII, only 25,000 trees had survived but were subject to losing their branches for fuel purposes while Amsterdam was prevented from accessing food supplies and other necessary items. Today, the city employs a professional tree consultant to ensure that its flourishing tree population is properly cared for.
Frankfurt is at the forefront of sustainable development and is a highly energy-efficient hub of a city. It is home to at least 160,000 trees and was named the European City of Trees in 2014.
While Johannesburg is believed to house the largest man-made urban forest in the world, Durban, which lies on the East Coast of South Africa, is known as the Garden Province thanks to its 23.7% canopy of trees. Some of the most popular trees in the city are avocado trees, with the fruit being picked and eaten straight off the branches.
The City of Cambridge is committed to maintaining a healthy environment with the ongoing planting of trees in its various parks, on its streets, and inside private property wherever possible.9 The city has its own Urban Forestry team that is dedicated to planting and caring for the trees inside the city limits.
Vancouver is experiencing an influx of people seeking a greener lifestyle inside its tree-lined urban areas. The city is home to over 140,000 trees that line streets, boulevards, and public parks. The Vancouver City and Park Board employs arborists that plant thousands of additional trees each year.
Aerial analysis taken over Australia at the start of 2023 has revealed that the Greater Brisbane area has the largest tree cover of any other capital city on the island continent. It has been established that suburbs within Brisbane that have excellent tree coverage experience a seven-degree temperature difference, making it a lot cooler during the scorching summer months.
Other cities have put tree planting plans into action to counter rising – temperatures due to climate change, including Melbourne and Sydney. Sydney, in particular, is aiming to plant 5 million trees by 2030.
The One Million Trees movement has been implemented in Singapore with the aim of taking the greenery inside the country to new heights.14 Singapore, which is also a sovereign city-state is aiming to increase its existing number of trees, which currently totals around 7 million, to more than 8 million in the next ten years.
Tampa, Florida has overtaken Singapore’s tree count and has been ranked as the city with the most trees in the world. Researchers have calculated the amount of vegetation growing in major cities, with Tampa’s percentage reaching 36% (tree cover over the city.)
Tree Coverage by City
Tree coverage by city can also indicate the amount of trees available to stop urban heat.4
Where Are the Most Trees in the World?
In 2015, a map of the world’s 3 trillion trees was presented via a study led by Thomas Crowther of Yale University. The scientists involved in the Nature study compiled estimates of the number of trees in every country around the world. These estimates have been compared to the size of each country while taking into consideration the population numbers.5
The findings of the study were published and revealed that Russia leads the list of tree-filled countries with a staggering number of 642 billion trees.
Places With the Most Trees in the World – Ranked
|Country||Number of Trees|
|Russia||642 billion trees|
|Canada||318 billion trees|
|Brazil||302 billion trees|
|US||228 billion trees|
|China||140 billion trees|
On the other side of the spectrum, some states and cities grow a minimal number of trees inside their borders.
What State Has the Least Amount of Trees?
|State||Percentage of Tree Coverage|
Part of the Great Plains, North Dakota ranks first on the list of states with the least amount of trees.13 The continental climate that reigns in this state, means little to no rainfall on an annual basis making it nearly impossible for forests and woods to take root. The trees that are found in North Dakota mostly grow on farms and are drought-hardy.
Forests can also be found in North Dakota,12 making up around 1 percent of the landscape. Nearly half of the forests here consist of elm-ash trees, with aspens, oaks, and cottonwood making up the rest of the numbers. Ponderosa pine and limber pine trees are native to western North Dakota with the latter not growing well throughout the state.
What State Has the Most Pine Trees?
Pine trees do however grow exceptionally well in the state of Maine where nearly 90% of the land is covered in forests. The white pine is Maine’s official tree and was designated in 1945. This tree is also the largest conifer found in the States and is recognized as Maine’s state flower.
During the early 1600s, the wood of white pine trees was the preferred material from which to construct ship masts. White pines were sought after by the British Navy which led them to include a specification in the charter of Massachusetts that would allow them to harvest the tallest white pine trees for their own use.
Today, Maine remains the number one producer of white pine lumber in America, contributing over $600 million to its own economy on an annual basis.8
Which States Have Forests? (Ranked According to Forest Cover)
Forests exist in every state and territory in the US – with Maine boasting the highest forest cover and North Dakota the least, as mentioned above.
|State||Percentage of Forest Cover|
|Northern Mariana Islands||80.37%|
|Virgin Islands (US)||57.16%|
|District of Columbia||33.90%|
Which State Has the Most Evergreen Trees?
Conifers are commonly found in the Pacific Northwest states, namely Washington, Idaho, and Oregon.16 Washington alone has more than 8 billion trees including 25 different species of evergreen trees such as Douglas Fir and Western red cedar.
Additionally, the state of Idaho has tree coverage of 40%, while nearly half of Oregon is covered with 30.5 million acres of forest.
Related Reading: How Many Christmas Trees Are Cut Down Every Year?
States With Forests and Mountains
The entire US is well known for not only its forests and forest cover but for its mountainous regions.
States With Mountains
- New Mexico
States With Forests
- New Mexico
More countries are vying every year to be awarded the title of Tree City and city with most trees, with all their efforts proving to be highly beneficial for the environment and the cities’ residents.7
Frequently Asked Questions About City With Most Trees
What City Has the Most Trees in California?
Sacramento, which is also known as the City of Trees.
What Is the Tree City of the World?
Mumbai is the current tree city of the world, having been selected in 2023.
What Is the City With Most Trees in the World?
Tampa, Florida is the city with most trees in the world.
What City in the US Has the Most Trees?
Tampa, although New York City is a very close second.
What Is the City With Most Trees in UK?
The city of Sheffield in South Yorkshire.
What Is the Largest Urban Forest in the US?
The Great Trinity Forest in southern Dallas, Texas.
Has the Tampa Tree Map Been Updated Since 2013?
Yes, and apps have been developed as well, for both Apple and Android devices.10
Has All the Old Data on the Tampa Tree Map Been Transferred to the New Map?
Yes, all historical data has been transferred.
Can New and Unlisted Trees Be Added to the Map?
Yes, the app can be used to search for specific trees which can then be added to the map. Trees that have already been listed may also be edited to include new information.
Are All Trees in Tampa Protected?
Yes, because all trees are vital to the environment and to improve human health.
Do Residents Need a Permit To Trim or Prune Trees?
If the tree is 24” or greater, a permit needs to be obtained after an inspection by a Forester.
Where Can Tree-Related Questions Be Directed?
Tree-related questions should be directed to your state’s forestry service or department of agriculture. Depending on which branch of government deals with the specific question. For example, if you have questions about growing trees, the forestry department may help.
What State Has The Most Evergreen Trees?
Washington, followed by Idaho and Oregon.
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1DGB Group N.V. (2021, March 07). Top 10 cities with the most trees. DGB.Earth. Retrieved September 05, 2022, from <https://www.dgb.earth/carbon-offset-blog/top-10-cities-with-the-most-trees>
2Endreny, T., Sica, F., & Nowak, D. (2020, May 15). Tree Cover Is Unevenly Distributed Across Cities Globally, With Lowest Levels Near Highway Pollution Sources. Frontiers. Retrieved September 05, 2022, from <https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/frsc.2020.00016/full>
3Johnson, H. L. (2017). Made in the Shade. Sactown Magazine. Retrieved September 05, 2022, from <https://www.sactownmag.com/made-in-the-shade/>
4Balch, O. (2019, November 05). Green Streets: Which City Has the Most Trees? The Guardian. Retrieved September 05, 2022, from <https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/nov/05/green-streets-which-city-has-the-most-trees>
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6Rosen, M. (2021, October 28). In Celebration of Erik Jorgensen – the Inventor of Urban Forestry. Tree Canada. Retrieved September 05, 2022, from <https://treecanada.ca/blog/in-celebration-of-erik-jorgensen-the-inventor-of-urban-forestry/>
7Treenet. (2022). Tree Cities of the World. Treenet. Retrieved September 05, 2022, from <https://treenet.org/education/tree-cities-of-the-world/>
8Ejim, E. (2022, August 18). Why Is Maine Called the Pine Tree State? (with pictures). United States Now. Retrieved September 05, 2022, from <https://www.unitedstatesnow.org/why-is-maine-called-the-pine-tree-state.htm>
9City of Cambridge. (2022). Urban Forestry Public Works. Urban Forestry. Retrieved August 31, 2022, from <https://www.cambridgema.gov/Services/urbanforestry>
10Frequently Asked Questions. (2022). TampaTreeMap. Retrieved September 01, 2022, from <https://www.opentreemap.org/tampa/page/FAQ/>
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12North Dakota Game and Fish Department. (2022). Woodland Habitats. Landowners Resources. Retrieved August 31, 2022, from <https://gf.nd.gov/private-lands/landowner-resources/habitats-woodland>
13North Dakota People Living On The Land. (2022). Section 1: Forests. Lesson 1: Changing Landscapes Topic 7: National Forest. Retrieved August 31, 2022, from <https://www.ndstudies.gov/gr8/content/unit-iii-waves-development-1861-1920/lesson-1-changing-landscapes/topic-7-national-forest/section-1-forests>
14OneMillionTrees Movement. (2022). The Planting Of One Million Trees. About The Movement. Retrieved August 31, 2022, from <https://www.nparks.gov.sg/treessg/one-million-trees-movement/about-the-movement>
15Seltzer, C. (2022). Public-Private Commitments To Forest Recovery. Growth Conflicts: The Great Trinity Forest Dallas, Texas. Retrieved August 31, 2022, from <https://web.mit.edu/nature/projects_14/pdfs/2014-GreatTrinityForest-Seltzer.pdf>
16State of Oregon. (2022). About Oregon’s Forests. Forest Benefits. Retrieved August 31, 2022, from <https://www.oregon.gov/odf/forestbenefits/pages/aboutforests.aspx>
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