The Tree Action Plan is a 20-year strategy for conservation and management of the county's tree resources. The Tree Action Plan was developed using a collaborative process that involved the Tree Commission, county staff, residents and builders. In June of 2007, the board of supervisors formally adopted a 30-year tree canopy goal based on the recommendations in the Tree Action Plan. The goal is to increase Fairfax County's tree cover to 45% by the year 2037. For more information, see the Tree Action Plan or contact the Urban Forest Management Division at 703-324-1770, TTY 711 or by e-mail.
As recommended in the Tree Action Plan, the Board of Supervisors initiated a countywide tree planting program to improve our air and water quality, and to achieve objectives of the board’s environmental agenda. To support the tree planting program, the board established the Tree Preservation and Planting Fund as a mechanism to administer tree-related donations and funding identified in the annual Environmental Improvement Program. Nonprofit organizations, county agencies and regional governmental agencies may request funding for tree-related projects using the Tree Preservation and Planting Fund Disbursement Procedure.
Tree Action Plan Goals
- Commit to conserve current tree assets.
- Enhance the legacy for future generations.
- Increase the effectiveness of urban forestry with planning and policymaking.
Tree Action Plan Core Recommendations
- Engage and educate.
- Build strong partnerships and alliances.
- Optimize tree conservation in county policies.
- Improve air quality and address climate change through tree conservation.
- Improve water quality and stormwater management through tree conservation.
- Use ecosystem management to improve and sustain the health and diversity of our urban forest.
- Strengthen state-enabling authority for tree conservation.
- Encourage sustainable design practices.
- Plant and protect trees by streams, streets and trails.
- Optimize tree conservation in land development.
- Optimize tree conservation in utility and public facilities projects.
- Support and refine the county's urban forestry programs.
Long Term Threats to the Health of our Forest
- Native forest tracts preserved after land development need managing in order to survive and provide maximum benefits.
- Zoning required landscaping is maturing and needs proactive management.
- Screening and parking lot landscaping ordinances need updating.
- Additional tree cover will be lost due to infill and redevelopment.
- Effects of urbanized environment on trees.
- Introduction and damage caused by exotic forest pests, such as emerald ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle.
- Expansion of public roads, highways and other transportation corridors.
- Continual fragmentation of forested tracts to facilitate installation, expansion and maintenance of utilities and other infrastructure.
- Development and expansion of governmental facilities.
- Development and expansion of active recreational facilities such as athletic fields.
- Tree removal in residential areas brought about by differing cultural values.
- Continual introduction and proliferation of invasive plant species.
- Degradation of native forests by unmanaged deer populations.
- Disposal of yard debris and household chemicals.
- Turfgrass expansion, forest understory clearing and other human-related impacts.
- Impacts of climate change on tree species and other organisms that inhabit forest ecosystems.