The last time the city catalogued its street trees was back in 2005-2006, when they found about 592,130 trees on public streets, including their species, trunk thickness, and condition (you can explore a map of all this info). In the summer of 2015, the Parks Department put out a call for volunteers to help with the next round of data collection, and they received help from 2,241 individuals who completed a third of the work. They’ve now released the results of the 2015-2016 census, which shows an increase of 12.5 percent to 666,134 trees covering 209 species, and compiled their findings into an interactive map.
The map lets users zoom in to see the number of trees by neighborhood. According to WNYC, these are the five leafiest streets in the city:
- Woodlawn, Bronx: Murdock Avenue between Pitman Avenue and Nereid Avenue.
- Flatbush, Brooklyn: Argyle Road between Dorchester Road and Ditmas Avenue.
- Lincoln Square, Manhattan: West 69th Street between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West.
- Elmhurst, Queens: Hillyer Street between 51st Avenue and Kneeland Avenue.
- New Dorp, Staten Island: Fremont Avenue between Kruser Street and North Railroad Avenue.
You can then zoom in further to see all the specific trees in a given neighborhood, each of which is clickable and has information on its species, trunk diameter, and its ecological benefits.
The map can also be filtered by species to provide an overview of where certain types of trees are located throughout the boroughs. The most common species is the London Planetree, which accounts for 13 percent of the total street trees.
Though this may seem like a lot of trees, it’s important to note that the census doesn’t take into account those in parks and private land, so it’s actually only about 12 percent of the city’s total fauna. But nevertheless, the 12.5 percent increase is impressive. Jennifer Greenfeld, the city’s assistant commissioner for forestry, horticulture and natural resources, said there’s room for at least 200,000 additional street trees in the city. She attributes the latest rise in part to the city’s MillionTreesNYC initiative, which was responsible for 164,000 newly planted trees between 2007 and 2015, predominantly in areas like East New York, the South Bronx, and East Harlem that were lacking. She told WNYC, “…we’ve planted a lot of trees over the last ten years, more than in any other decade that we have records of. And we’re also protecting our trees, making sure the ones that are growing are still alive.”
Explore the interactive map here >>
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