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A map of every street tree in San Francisco

The city’s arboreal census turned up 125,000 leafy pedestrians

Trees lining the plaza across the street from San Francisco City Hall.
London planetrees, the most common type of tree in the city.

In January, the San Francisco Planning Department finished a census of the city’s trees, a process that took over a year:

Kicking off in January 2016, our team of tree specialists continues on the path of identifying the exact location, species and current condition of every street tree in the City. [...] Once EveryTreeSF is completed, the data generated will help San Francisco make more informed species selections and identify priority maintenance needs and future planting sites.

The eventual results: San Franciscans share the sidewalks with 124,795 growing trunks of over 500 species. Note that this is street trees only, not including those in parks or designated green spaces.

For anyone curious, the most common sort of San Francisco tree (with over 8,500 specimens in all) is Platanus acerifolia, the London planetree, “one of the world’s great street trees” according to the Urban Forest Map project.

David Ohmer

On the other hand, the city streets may host only a single example of more rare local tree breeds, like our single African coral tree at the corner of 20th and Wisconsin in Potrero Hill, or our only giant crape myrtle on 19th Street in the Castro.

The UFM’s Open Tree Map records all of this data, including the individual numbers of each street tree, a photo of the specimen, and an assessment of its condition when inspected last year.

The Open Tree Map has been around since 2010, but this week’s big update incorporates a huge amount of new information, allowing San Franciscans to look up nearly any public tree in the city. Which could turn into quite a time suck if you’re not careful.

Note that many of the dots on the map are actually empty planting sites, nearly 40,000 of them citywide. (However, if you toggle with the display feature, you can weed them out.)

Of course, even a careful census makes a few mistakes or falls out of date quickly, so users can update the map wiki-style. The citywide street tree count is already up to 124,847. That’s a whole lot of green.