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Baltimore's Urban Forest, 1999-2014

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Resour. Bull. NRS-124. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 38 p.


An assessment of the vegetation structure, function, and value of Baltimore's urban forest was conducted during 1999, 2004, 2009, and 2014. Data from 193 field plots located throughout Baltimore were analyzed using the i-Tree Eco model developed by the USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station. In 2014, the most common tree species across public and private lands were American beech, American elm, and green ash (encompassing all woody plants greater than 1 inch in diameter at breast height). The number of trees in Baltimore's urban forest declined from an estimated 2,631,000 trees in 1999 to 2,262,000 trees in 2014. The overall tree density declined from 51 trees per acre in 1999 to 44 trees per acre in 2014. This time period saw a decrease in the proportion of trees in the smallest diameter class (1–6 inches) and a concurrent increase in the proportion of trees in larger diameter classes. American beech was consistently the most common species city-wide over time, while American elm, black cherry, and black locust trees consistently declined in numbers from 1999 to 2014. Leaf area of Baltimore’s trees increased from 95.7 square miles in 1999 to 100.7 square miles in 2014. The gross carbon sequestration of Baltimore trees increased from 17.9 thousand tons of carbon per year in 1999 to about 21 thousand tons per year in 2014, while carbon storage decreased from 593 thousand tons of carbon to 577 thousand tons of carbon during this time. Of the species sampled, Northern red oak stores and sequesters the most carbon. The information presented in this report can be used to improve and augment support for urban forest management programs and to inform policy and long-term planning to improve environmental quality and human health in Baltimore.


Air pollution removal; carbon sequestration; ecosystem services; tree value; urban forestry inventory


Sonti, Nancy Falxa; Henning, Jason G.; Yesilonis, Ian D.; Hoehn, Robert E., III; Nowak, David J. 2021. Baltimore's Urban Forest, 1999-2014. Resour. Bull. NRS-124. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 38 p.

Last updated on: December 27, 2021