The National Park Service recognizes Atlanta as the most heavily forested urban area in the nation. Whether hurrying on downtown sidewalks, strolling through neighborhoods, visiting area parks, or viewing the city from above, visitors and residents alike recognize trees as a verdant characteristic defining the city.
The City Arborist is charged with protecting the city’s tree canopy on private property within the city limits. Recognizing the economic, environmental, and social value of the city’s trees, Atlanta first created a tree protection ordinance in 1977 requiring that trees be preserved where possible. The City Arborist also maintains an inventory of over 8,000 trees along public rights-of-way and within parks, containing information about the species, size, and condition of each tree.
"Atlanta’s landscape and nature are what I use as a first descriptor of where I live. When friends and family visit from places as far away as Chile, Spain and Italy, they are astounded to see our city amid a forest."
—Zinnia Johnston, Community submission to Atlanta in 50 Objects
By 2018, Trees Atlanta, a nonprofit organization founded in 1985 to improve the city’s tree canopy, planted more than 126,000 trees across metro Atlanta.