Urban Forestry

The urban forest of Virginia Beach consists of every single tree in the city on both public and private property. The benefits of a strong urban forest include cleaner air and water, cooler temperatures, and energy savings.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​With proper management, the benefits of the urban forest​ increase every year as trees continue to grow and thrive. Virginia Beach’s urban forest is a vital component of the city’s infrastructure, as important as efficient transportation and clean water.

Urban Forest Management Plan

The purpose of the Urban Forest Management Plan​ is to guide a broad range of actions that will achieve a sustainable urban forest in Virginia Beach well into the future. A sustainable urban forest includes an abundance of trees with an expansive, integrated and connected tree canopy. 

The creation of this plan not only lays the framework for sustainable urban forest management in Virginia Beach, it indicates a high level of commitment to protecting trees and sharing knowledge about the important environmental, economic and social roles trees play in building healthy sustainable communities. The benefits of trees can be maximized when both professional management resources and an educated public coexist.​

S​tate of the Urban Forest Report

The City of Virginia Beach State of the Urban Forest Report​ includes an assessment of the amount of tree cover; an overview of the tree related communications in the community, and details the urban forest management practices currently performed.​​

Did you know...

  • ​Virginia Beach has been a Tree City USA since 1980
  • Our official City tree is a live oak​

Facts About Trees from the US Department of Agriculture

City Trees—A Cost-Effective Way to Improve the Livability of Your Community

Trees increase in value the minute they are planted and continue to appreciate as they mature. They add to property resale/rental value by improving curb appeal. These natural assets also save you money on heating and cooling by shading homes and buildings, and they promote better human health by cleaning the air and water. Trees are one of the most cost-effective ways to improve the social, economic, and environmental health of cities and towns.​

Top 10 Reasons We Need Trees

  1. Trees help purify the air we breathe by absorbing pollutants.
  2. Trees increase property values and improve the tax base in communities.
  3. Trees improve neighborhood appeal, attracting businesses, shoppers, and homeowners.
  4. Trees cool our cities and towns by reducing heat generated by buildings and paved surfaces.
  5. Tree shade, properly placed, can save an average household up to $250 annually in energy costs.
  6. Trees reduce the amount of pollutants in sewer systems, saving communities millions of dollars in water treatment costs.
  7. Trees soften harsh building lines and large expanses of pavement, making urban environments much more pleasant.
  8. Trees provide habitat for birds and other wildlife, maintaining a balance with nature even in urban areas.
  9. Trees reduce the amount of water-borne pollutants that reach streams and rivers.
  10. Trees reduce l​evels of domestic violence and foster safer, more sociable neighborhood environments.