Austin News: Getting It Done: More trees - AustinChronicle.com:
Increasing the city's tree canopy by 2030 was one verdant objective identified at the ACPP community charrette – an objective now in need of an action plan. Trees are a 'carbon sink' that absorbs CO2; when they shade buildings, they also reduce the energy needed for air conditioning.
Travis County currently has a tree canopy (as measured aerially by leafy coverage of land) of about 33%, according to city staffer Matt Hollon. The goal of increasing that by 50% translates to adding 16.5% more canopy. For simplicity's sake, call that 20% in 20 years – an increase of 1% annually. (Trees grow slowly, however, so significant canopy and shading is equally slow to materialize.) According to Mary Ann Neely, president of TreeFolks, a local nonprofit that promotes tree planting, achieving that goal will require a comprehensive program for new plantings, tree preservation, replantings, and care/watering/maintenance.