US Cities Are Losing 36 Million Trees a Year

US Cities Are Losing 36 Million Trees a Year

Atticus Boian

Amid a climate crisis, tree cover in the US is rapidly shrinking. Over a 5 year period, the US has lost 36 million trees annually.


According to David Nowak, a senior US Forest Service scientist, says that if we continue on this path, “cities will become warmer, more polluted, and generally more unhealthy for inhabitants.”


There are many reasons for the decline in tree cover that are natural and unnatural. Things like hurricanes, tornados, diseases, and insects are all playing a role in the decline. However, one main contributor for the loss is human development. Nowak says that tree cover is now being replaced with buildings and parking lots.


We can regulate the decline in tree cover by being sensible about development in high traffic areas. By continuing to expand outward, we are having to make way for a growing population and the only way to do that is by getting rid of tree cover.


More than 80% of all Americans live in urban areas and lots live in forested areas on the east or west coast such as California. Simply by building another road or building you are already cutting down thousands of trees. By doing this your not only affecting the site or area but the entire region.


While it often times is simply unavoidable due to growing populations, planting trees is a possible way to make up for the loss in coverage and wildlife habitat.


Trees absorb 96% of ultraviolet light and reduce energy costs by $4 billion dollars a year. By having more trees, we are only helping our safety and economy.


It is difficult to create booming cities and towns without having to make way. But by doing it sensibly we can dramatically cut down the amount of damage we do the the wildlife around us.