The city is poised to deploy experts to determine how much land sits beneath leafy tree branches.
The most recent estimate — using 2006 aerial photography and collected in a 2008 tree canopy survey — estimates the tree canopy coverage inside city limits at 51 percent.
The percentage could vary between surveys, due to recent construction and the methods used in the earlier effort. The initial program did not meet regional standards for tree canopy surveys, but the measure did provide baseline tree canopy information for the city Comprehensive Plan, a key growth blueprint.
Issaquah received a $10,000 grant from the state Department of Natural Resources to fund the upcoming study. Municipal staffers intend to contribute $6,350 to the project through in-kind services. City Council members accepted the grant May 2.
The assessment is meant to provide a more accurate analysis of the city’s tree canopy. In addition, the city intends to assess areas covered by other vegetation. Issaquah includes about 1,300 acres in open space.