Wake County Tree Canopy Assessment

Looking up at trees

Wake County has experienced high population and job growth over the last decade, with significant ongoing and anticipated development occurring in the next five years. This growth has underscored the necessity of intentionally prioritizing tree canopy management and understanding the associated impacts on the environment to ensure sustainability and livability in Wake County communities.  

Wake County has contracted Davey Resource Group to complete a Land Cover Analysis with Supporting Tree Canopy Assessment. The project will encompass the total 857 square miles of Wake County, including and segmenting the totality of the 12 core municipalities.


This project kicked off in July 2022 and is scheduled for completion by June 2023.

Project deliverables are being drafted as we near the end of the study. A community report and supporting data will be added to this site after the project is completed. 


The land cover analysis and assessment of the tree canopy will help Wake County realize the following objectives:  

  1. Create a countywide baseline to understand the extent and function of the existing tree canopy coverage. 
  2. Compare the current tree canopy cover to past years and highlight areas of loss or gain over time.  
  3. Conduct assessment across a range of attributes, including specified geographic boundaries.  
  4. Produce the resources needed to guide future tree canopy initiatives, with a focus on equity for vulnerable communities.   

Scope of Work

Wake County has worked closely with municipal partners to determine the scope of this project and will be providing comprehensive deliverables for each of the 12 core municipalities in Wake County. The scope of this project includes:

  1. Land Cover Mapping and Metrics
    • Tree canopy, impervious surfaces, grass/open space, bare ground and open water​​​​​​
  2. Historical Change Analysis
  3. Tree Canopy Benefit Analysis
    • Air quality
    • Carbon
    • Stormwater
    • Pollution assessment
  4. Planting Area and Vulnerability Analysis
    • Socio-demographics and economic analysis
    • Urban heat island analysis
    • Stormwater runoff analysis
  5. Planting Plan
  6. Planting Timetables
  7. Canopy Assessment Reports
    • Twelve municipality-specific reports 
    • One comprehensive County report 


Contact Us With Questions