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Many communities are experiencing the negative effects associated with not sustaining a sufficient level of tree canopy coverage. Tree canopy plays a crucial role in the environment, providing benefits such as clean water and air, erosion prevention, climate control, and sustained ecological resources and native species habitat. Additionally, tree canopy plays an economic role by increasing housing values, alleviating expenditures related to erosion destruction, decreasing spending on sewer standards, increasing energy efficiency, and reducing medical costs related to health issues, such as asthma, that are associated with environmental degradation. To study how local government policies may be related to changes in tree canopy, an empirical study was performed using Greater Metropolitan Atlanta as the study area. The statistical analysis identifies local government policies that are effective, such as specific tree ordinance clauses and zoning regulations. Policies that are ineffective (e.g., a tree board) are also identified.


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