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This report summarizes the fourth tree canopy and urban forest analysis conducted for the City of Tampa and represents the year 2021. The City of Tampa tree ordinance (Ord. No. 2006-74, § 9, 3-23-06) requires an assessment of the tree canopy and urban forest every five years (beginning in 20061). In an effort to reduce concerns over bias, this work has been conducted by a collaborative team from the University of South Florida and the University of Florida following established USDA Forest Service protocols.

This report provides detailed information about the current size, composition, health, and distribution of Tampa’s urban forest. It also shows how the tree canopy, urban forest and associated benefits have changed over the last five-year monitoring intervals and since 1973, 33 years before regular monitoring began. Specific results are used to evaluate the performance criteria listed in the City of Tampa’s Urban Forest Management Plan2, including tree canopy change and other results associated with the five Planning Districts whose boundaries were adopted in the Tampa Comprehensive Plan3 (see Figure 1).

As part of this 2021 assessment, the report also includes several additional analyses to assist the City of Tampa with the management of the tree canopy and urban forest, including:

  • Results of an online survey and in-person interviews focused on residents’ experiences and values of trees, including benefits, drawbacks, and priorities for the urban forest in the City of Tampa.

  • Presentation of an urban heat map, showing areas of the City with measurably hotter summertime temperatures and how urban heat is related to the amount of tree can- opy, grass/shrub, and other land cover.

  • An analysis of environmental equity, showing how specific sociodemographic groups might be disproportionately impacted by urban heat, lack the benefits provided by tree canopy.

The intended audience for this report includes policymakers, agency managers, businesses, neighborhood associations and the City’s residents. This project is part of the City of Tampa’s Urban Forest Program. This report is intended to help Tampa enact tangible solutions to protect the City’s natural environment for future generations.