Save Asheville Trees

Demand a Tree Canopy Protection Ordinance for Buncombe County

Buncombe County is losing trees at breakneck speed. Rapid development and large-scale projects continue to wreck our county’s greenspaces, and there is currently no law to protect the county against tree loss. A 2018 study showed that just within Asheville City limits, 891 acres of trees were lost in the prior decade. Tree loss county-wide is likely far worse. While the City of Asheville passed a Tree Canopy Protection Ordinance and Zero-Net Loss tree policy in 2020, no such policies exist in Buncombe County. A Buncombe County Tree Canopy Protection Ordinance and Zero Net Loss policy are urgently needed to protect the remaining tree canopy and mitigate past losses.

City Council Approved the Zero Net Loss Resolution!

Building upon the approval of the Tree Canopy Protection Ordinance in September, City Council approved a decision establishing a Zero-Net Loss Tree Canopy Resolution at its October 26th session. The aim of the Zero Net Loss Amendment is to establish tree canopy coverage of 50% by 2040 in order to fight canopy loss and ensuing “heat islands,” which can disproportionately affect minority communities. The resolution was drafted and proposed by the Urban Forestry Commission and recommends establishing city policy and programmatic goals to supplement the Tree Canopy Protection. The 2018 Urban Tree Canopy Study determined existing coverage to be 44.5%.

City Council Approved an Amendment for a Tree Canopy Protection Ordinance!

On Tuesday, September 8th 2020, Asheville City Council unanimously approved an Amendment for a Tree Canopy Protection Ordinance. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Asheville's tree-advocates, we are one-stop closer to protecting our city's dwindling tree canopy. But our work is far from over! Each year we continue to lose acres of Asheville trees while new plantings fail to keep pace with development and disease. Over 200 Asheville residents reached out to City Council via our letter campaign to call on them to vote YES for a Tree Canopy Protection Ordinance and the measure has strong support among Council.