San Francisco Department of the Environment

Annual Urban Forest Reports

Read the full 2020 Annual Urban Forest Report  >

Overview of San Francisco’s Urban Forest, FY 2018-2019

SF Environment staff surveyed 21 City departments, public agencies, and non-government organizations that oversee or manage a portion of the urban forest in San Francisco. Organizations were asked to provide information on forestry budget and staffing, maintenance activities, accomplishments, and concerns in fiscal year 2015-2016. Of the 21 organizations surveyed, 19 provided full or partial responses.

This data is tracked to:

  • Better understand the resources used to maintain the urban forest across the city.
  • Track the priorities, needs, and concerns of city departments and local nonprofits, and monitor how they change over time.
  • Better understand threats to the future well-being of our urban forest.
  • Find ways to increase the contributions that trees provide to our community.

Primary Findings:

The data provided by participating agencies for this report is compared to data provided since FY14-15. While participation is required by Chapter 12, Section 1209 of the San Francisco Environmental Code, not all agencies participate in the survey each year.

Canopy loss. As expected, the implementation of StreetTreeSF is resulting in the removal of dead, dying, and structurally unsound trees. Removals increased by 59 percent in comparison to tree removals by Public Works prior the year prior to StreetTreeSF. The high rate of removals is primarily due to lack of maintenance for so many years prior to the new funding stream. Had maintenance not been deferred, the number of trees requiring removal would be significantly fewer.

Canopy increase will likely fluctuate widely in upcoming years because of a lack of dedicated funding and a variety of differing or non-existent replanting goals by the various agencies reporting. Article 16 of the Public Works Code requires that at least one street tree be planted for every tree removed, unless restricted by utility placement (in which an in-lieu fee is paid to Public Works to plant a tree elsewhere in the City). StreetTreeSF does not allocate funding for tree planting or establishment care, including watering. Public Works cites watering to be major impediment for planting trees. Contractors are needed to water trees, but there is limited number of contractors with the ability to do this.

Read the full 2020 Annual Urban Forest Report  >

Past Annual Urban Forest Reports

2019 Annual Urban Forest Report
2018 Annual Urban Forest Report
2017 Annual Urban Forest Report
2016 Annual Urban Forest Report
2015 Annual Urban Forest Report
2014 Annual Urban Forest Report
2013 Annual Urban Forest Report
2012 Annual Urban Forest Report
2011 Annual Urban Forest Report
2010 Annual Urban Forest Report
2009 Annual Urban Forest Report
2008 Annual Urban Forest Report


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