Every tree in the City of Vancouver increases neighborhood livability, adds to the value of our homes, decreases stormwater runoff, and reduces our energy costs. TreeCAP rewards community members who do their part to grow and maintain a healthy urban forest.
Vancouver’s current tree canopy is 18%, far short of the 28% goal but not unattainable. Acknowledging the achievements of those who reach and exceed their specific land use zoning
tree canopy goal inspires others and helps the entire city realize the environmental, social and
economic benefits of a healthy tree canopy.
A healthy urban forest is the result of proper planning, management, community investment
and involvement at all levels within a community. The Vancouver Urban Forestry Commission
invites groups, businesses and individuals to participate in the Tree Canopy Achievement
Program (TreeCAP) to recognize those who strive to help the City of Vancouver attain a goal of 28% urban tree canopy by 2030. Vancouver’s tree canopy is a critical element of our community’s vitality, health and prosperity.
Protect mature trees. Mature trees are irreplaceable assets to our community and help define our neighborhoods. Avoid removing trees for views or landscaping, and find ways to incorporate existing trees into your landscape plans.
Preserve existing trees with proper maintenance. Proper pruning and maintenance can prevent healthy trees from becoming hazard trees. Urban Forestry’s ‘Think Before You Top’ program is a great resource for proper tree care. Make sure to hire a certified arborist for any tree care.
Plant new trees. In order to expand and grow our canopy, we need to plant new trees to maximize the benefits to our neighborhoods. Trees take 30-60 years to mature, so we can’t wait for existing trees to die before replanting for the future. Remove invasive plants such as English ivy and replace high maintenance turf with shaded tree cover.
Participating in TreeCAP is a great way to improve your community while also gaining positive publicity for you, your business or your organization.
TreeCAP participants can highlight their achievement by hanging a free plaque on a fence or mailbox post, and businesses, offices, or shopping centers can use the TreeCAP logo to promote business. TreeCAP participants are recognized through:
Bronze Leaf Property meets the canopy cover average for its zoning level
Silver Leaf Property reaches the canopy cover goal for its zoning level
Gold Leaf Property exceeds canopy cover goal for its zoning level by at least 2 percent
The City of Vancouver is reaching for 28% tree canopy cover city-wide by the year 2030. Goals vary for different zoning types.
Single Family Residential Lots - 33% Goal
Single Family Residential (Medium Density) is the most common residential lot zoning type in the city. Trees planted in yards, and street trees that reach over private property improve your property's tree canopy. View the diagram below to see how planting just a few trees can help you reach your canopy goal:
Commercial Lots - 15% Goal
Commercial lots are expected to plant trees to create vibrant shopping districts. Trees in shopping areas shade hot streets and provide refuge for pedestrians.
Industrial Lots - 9% Goal
Trees can help green industrial areas, and reduce stormwater runoff from large impermeable parking lots and rooftops. Goals are low to accommodate high traffic.
Recognized neighborhood associations have adopted the City’s tree canopy goal as part of their Neighborhood Action Plans with action items identified for achieving or exceeding the goal, such as neighborhood and park plantings. City mapping software can be used to help
neighborhoods understand how to reach the goal. The 2011 Tree Canopy Assessment, available online, provides neighborhood specific information on existing tree canopy levels.
Homeowners or individual property owners can apply for recognition if they have maintained
existing canopy or who have undertaken recent plantings that will contribute to meeting or
exceeding canopy goals.
Existing and new developments which have maintained existing tree canopy, undertaken
recent plantings, or who have received permits for projects that will contribute to meeting
or exceeding canopy goals can apply for recognition.
Please note, to participate, all parcels must be within Vancouver city limits. Unfortunately undeveloped sites or properties that can be further subdivided but that are not proposing site improvements cannot apply until they are in the process of developing and the development proposal meets one of the achievement levels.