The percent of tree canopy in a location captures the area of land covered by the horizontal projection of tree crowns, or more simply, how much land is covered by the canopy of trees. The percentage of tree canopy is calculated independent of seasonality or presence of tree leaves. In urban areas this variable estimates, for example, the amount of street trees, trees in parks and natural areas as well as trees on private and public property. In addition to these sources of trees, suburban and rural areas include larger forested areas.
The land under the tree canopy can be impervious (e.g., a tree shading a sidewalk, or portion of a parking lot), or it can be undeveloped, and therefore previous. In urban areas they are beneficial for walking as trees provide shade, moderate rain protection and enhance street level esthetics. Trees in urban areas can also assist to mitigate air pollution and heat island effects and help with retaining storm water.1,2,3,4,5.6