Vancouver, Washington, USA

The urban forest in Vancouver is a valuable asset providing residents and visitors with many environmental, social, and economic benefits. This assessment mapped urban tree canopy (UTC), possible planting area (PPA), and tree canopy changes over the last decade and analyzed how they are distributed throughout the City and its land ownership, zoning types, watersheds, ZIP codes, neighborhoods, census tracts, and census blocks.


The results, based on 2019/20 and 2011 imagery from the USDA’s National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP), provide a current and historical look at land cover in Vancouver and will allow the City to revise and develop existing and new strategies to protect and expand the urban forest. A prior land cover assessment (2011), conducted by AMEC Environment and Infrastructure, used 2010 WorldView-2 satellite imagery to map and calculate tree canopy and land cover metrics. However, this study used modern machine learning techniques to create land cover data from both time periods to allow for the most even comparison possible

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In 2019, Vancouver had 19% urban tree canopy cover and 32% possible planting area, not including any surface water bodies within the city. The City’s total land cover contained 18% tree canopy, 30% non-canopy vegetation; 2% soil/dry vegetation; 43% impervious surfaces, and 7% water. Of the five zoning types in Vancouver, Open Space Districts had the highest canopy coverage at 31%. However, Single Family areas contained the most canopy, overall, containing 3,159 acres or 52% of all canopy in the City. Single Family areas also contain the greatest potential for canopy expansion, offering 4,212 acres (30% PPA by area and 42% of the City’s total plantable space).


Results from the 2011 AMEC assessment indicated there was 18.6% tree canopy cover in Vancouver in 2010. This study found that canopy cover changed from 16 to 19% from 2011 to 2019 (+3% or 1,027 acres) using the current city boundary which included newly annexed areas. Private lands saw a 3% increase while canopy on public lands expanded 5%. Canopy cover within the public right-of-way increased by 4%. This gain is due in part to the City’s annexation of a large area between 2011-2019, which increased the City’s overall acres while also adding more canopy, but also in part to the recent ambitious planting efforts that the City has implemented to assist in achieving their goal of 28% canopy by 2030.


The results of this analysis can be used to develop plans to protect and expand the urban forest in Vancouver. The UTC and PPA maps and data in this report can be used as a guide to determine where the City has been successful in protecting and expanding its urban forest resource, while also targeting areas to concentrate future efforts based on needs, benefits, and available planting space. Vancouver can use these results to ensure that their urban forest policies and management practices continue to prioritize its maintenance, health, and growth.

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Access the Urban Tree Canopy Assessment

Urban Tree Canopy Assessment, Vancouver, Washington

6,066 Acres

Tree Canopy


Urban Tree Canopy


Possible Planting Area