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Seattle needs more trees: Report finds city has work to do to meet its leafy goals

A preliminary report from the Seattle Urban Forestry Commission states that Seattle is losing its tree canopy cover.

The report says the city has lost 255 acres of tree cover since 2016. That's roughly equal to the size of Green Lake.

The area surveyed includes trees in public spaces, natural areas, and private lands.

Seattle has a goal to achieve 30% tree canopy, citywide, by 2037. In 2016, the city had 28.6% tree cover. This latest report finds that it decreased to 28.1% in 2021.

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell says the loss of canopy in recent years means the city might not meet its 2037 goal. So it will have to re-evaluate some things, and plan some sort of course correction.

The report released this week is preliminary. A final report is due to be released this fall.