I’m optimistic about what we can do locally to save trees but pessimistic about global changes. With 48 percent of our city covered by trees, Atlanta has the largest canopy of any major U.S. urban area. With improved tree ordinances, legislation, and zoning, I think we’ll be able to protect our existing forest, as well as build new development with even heavier tree canopies than in the past. But we’re going to continue to lose some tree species because of both climate change and invasive exotic pests like those that have started to wipe out hemlock and ash trees in the last 10 years. More collaboration between counties and cities is critical.
—Greg Levine, co-executive director and chief program officer of Trees Atlanta
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