The city of Dallas has a vast urban forest, including the approximately 6,000-acre Great Trinity Forest. City staff maintain existing trees, plant new trees and provide trees to citizens to plant in their yards or along their street.
Per American Forests, over 140 million acres of America's forests are in cities and towns. Urban forestry is defined as protection, planting and care of trees in an urban and suburban environment.
Urban forestry involves both the planning and management of the urban forest because the right tree, planted in the right place and in the right way, helps to promote the many benefits trees offer to people, wildlife and the climate.
In addition to the overall improved health and well-being of residents, trees' benefits also include improved academic performance, fewer illnesses and reduced instances of death caused by extreme heat and poor air quality. As we seek remedies for the climate crisis, urban forestry will continue to be a key component to any strategy looking to maximize the benefits that trees provide.
The Citywide Tree Task Force was formed in early 2021 to include forestry, wildlife and management staff from the City Manager's Office, Dallas Water Utilities, Park and Recreation, Public Works and Development Services. The task force strengthens the City's efforts in forestry programming and activities as found in the Urban Forest Master Plan, adopted by City Council in June 2021. The task force continues working with local, state and federal agencies to better manage our urban forest.
2021 brought two priorities for the task force: the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and a tree inventory for all public lands. In April 2021, monitoring was initiated in Dallas county with the support of the Texas A&M Forest Service (TFS). Twenty traps across Dallas county, with eight specifically in the city of Dallas, have been placed. The task force continues to work on multiple media outreach programs, locations and numbers of ash trees on public land.