Last week, we told you about Tree Pittsburgh’s ongoing effort to reforest Pittsburgh with a special focus on its plan for Lawrenceville.

Now we’re happy to report that in recognition of Arbor Day on Friday, National Geographic profiled the urban tree canopy (UTC) percentage in nine cities which “love their trees,” and Pittsburgh is well ahead of the pack.

At 42 percent UTC, Pittsburgh tops Nat Geo’s list, 5 percentage points ahead of Austin, eight points above Washington, D.C., and 10 points beyond Tampa.

“A significant portion of hillside around the world’s former steel capital has variously been mined, logged, and built upon. But with the passage of time, much of it has been naturally reforested. This new-growth forest and the city’s four large parks make for a patchy canopy, so local environmental organizations have enlisted volunteers to plant 20,000 trees in recent years. The expanded urban forest removes 532 tons of air pollution every year.”

Tree Pittsburgh’s long-term goal is to get the city’s UTC to 60 percent.

Take a look at the infographics.

Matthew Wein

Matthew Wein is a local writer, editor, blogger, storyteller and proud native Pittsburgher. Once described as "a man of things," he covers city design, spirits and craft beer for NEXT, where he keeps all of the editorial meetings light-hearted and interesting. His interests include sorting books, looking at old things and candles which smell like old-growth pine forests.