Atlanta's Tree Canopy Not Shrinking, But Quality Is Poor, Giarrusso Says

The tree canopy in Atlanta while not really shrinking in size is losing in quality. That’s according to Georgia Tech researcher Tony Giarrusso.

Giarrusso is a researcher and assistant director at the Center for Spatial Planning Analytics and Visualization. He recently gave a presentation hosted by Trees Atlanta on his findings.

Atlanta’s public radio station, WABE, reported on the presentation on the air and online.

WABE reported that in 2008 Giarrusso used satellite imagery to survey Atlanta’s tree canopy. He repeated the survey in 2014.

He said between 2008 and 2014 there wasn’t much change in the overall canopy. “But as we got on the ground and started to look at things, we noticed a lot of the things that we saw as gain were not true gain,” the station quoted him as saying.

Those gains in trees, the station reported, were mostly in what Giarrusso called “pipe farms.” He described those as places that were cleared for development, never got developed, then fast-growing pine trees sprouted up. They can’t replace the old hardwoods, he said.

Giarrusso is expected to release his final report in the next few weeks.

Read the full WABE article.

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