So Much City, So Little Green

This beautiful aerial view of San Francisco, taken by Fiona Fay and used here with permission, shows just how important our urban forests are. At just 13.7% cover, San Francisco has amongst the smallest tree canopy of any major city. And yet, there are plans to cut down thousands of trees – even though we’re already behind on replacing those that die naturally.

Photo Credit: @FionaFaytv of the IRN-

It shows may of the places now vulnerable to the plans of the land managers – mostly SF Recreation and Parks’ Natural Resources Division, which uses toxic pesticides, cuts down healthy and mature trees, and limits access in the name of protecting native plants; but also UCSF, which owns most of Sutro Forest and partners with the Sutro Stewards that have the same nativist bias; and Treasure Island Development Authority, which is using a nativist plan similar to that of the Natural Resources Division.

Visit these places, make your memories and photograph their beauty. Send us pictures on Facebook [] or by email to – we will publish and archive them. (If you want them shared on this website, please include permission to do so.)

Photo Credit: @FionaFaytv ; Labels: SFForest

Our trees provide enormous health and environmental benefits. Especially in these difficult times, every tree counts.

Read More: Twenty Reasons Why Urban Trees are Important to Us All

Yet, our tree canopy is small, and shrinking not growing.

Graph showing urban tree canopy cover in major US cities

San Francisco Has the Least Canopy Cover of any Major US City


This entry was posted in "Natural" Areas Program, Applies Pesticides, Blocks Access, Fells Trees and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to So Much City, So Little Green

  1. Ellen Holmes says:

    What, specifically, can we do to increase the tree canopy in SF given the total existing situation? Let’s say we decided on a specific goal–say, adding 100,000 trees over the next 18 months–(just as an example)–what steps would we need to take?

    Where are “Friends of the Urban Forest”in all this? Could join forces with FUF more to stop the cutting and increase the planting?

    SFForest: Apologies for the delay in this comment. FUF is great at planting new street trees, but less effective in stopping trees from being cut down because they do not get involved politically. The main problem with adding to canopy cover is that the city appears to use any excuse to cut down trees and repurpose the land on which they’re growing, whether in parks or other public areas. The main obstacle is getting land managers to recognize trees are crucially important. This means writing to your supervisors, the mayor, SF RPD. And – voting your trees!

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