Land Use is a strong determinant of both existing and potential tree canopy cover.

For each of seven land use classes, Tree Canopy metrics were calculated as a percentage of land area in the specified land use category, and as a percentage of all land in the county. Residential land is the largest land use type within the county, at 50.8%, and contributes 62.4% of the county’s total tree canopy.

Possible Tree Planting Area is also dominated by residential land uses, accounting for 57% of all Vegetated Possible Tree Planting Area in the County.

Commercial and industrial land uses provide significant potential planting area, particularly in their impervious areas (paved surfaces that are not buildings or roads). Parking lots and areas immediately adjacent provide significant area for the establishment of tree canopy to reduce stormwater runoff and urban heat effects.

Similarly, public rights-of-way offer substantial area for tree planting efforts, with a combined 11.6% of the county’s Vegetated Possible Tree Planting Area. In addition to their ecological and societal benefits, establishing tree canopy in these areas could add to tree canopy totals at the expense of current roadway and other adjacent impervious cover.

Tree Canopy metrics summarized by land use

Tree Canopy By Land Use Graph

Tree Canopy metrics summarized by land use
PERCENT OF LAND USE CATEGORYPERCENT OF COUNTY LAND
Land UseExisting
Tree
Canopy
Possible
Planting
Area
Vegetated
Possible
Planting
Area
Impervious
Not
Suitable
for
Planting
Total
Land
Existing
Tree
Canopy
Possible
Planting
Area
Vegetated
Possible
Planting
Area
Impervious
Not
Suitable
for
Planting
Total
County
Land
Residential45.4%33.5%10.3%11.1%100.0%62.4%57.1%34.4%30.4%50.8%
Commercial16.1%22.3%42.6%19.5%100.0%2.5%4.3%16.1%6.0%5.8%
Industrial18.4%27.4%33.9%21.1%100.0%4.6%8.5%20.5%10.5%9.2%
Park/Open Space67.2%14.9%3.5%17.5%100.0%18.7%5.1%2.4%9.7%10.3%
Institutional25.6%32.6%22.3%19.9%100.0%3.5%5.6%7.4%5.5%5.1%
Agricultural43.7%43.8%3.6%11.3%100.0%0.8%1.0%0.2%0.4%0.7%
Transportation/Utility13.0%38.0%17.4%32.4%100.0%1.9%6.8%6.1%9.3%5.4%
R/W Highway10.0%44.2%15.7%30.2%100.0%0.6%3.3%2.3%3.6%2.3%
R/W Street17.5%23.5%15.5%43.6%100.0%5.0%8.3%10.7%24.6%10.5%
Total County37.0%29.9%15.3%18.6%100.0%100.0%100.0%100.0%100.0%100.0%

Vacant Land Summary

Over 56% of vacant land in Cuyahoga County consists of Existing Tree Canopy. More than 40% of the remaining area is available as Possible Tree Canopy—largely vegetated.

While much of this land consists of smaller, isolated urban parcels, there are significant opportunities for land assembly. In a recent analysis of vacant land in the County, the CCPC aggregated adjacent vacant parcels to form vacant “tracts”, and found that over 20,000 acres of the County’s vacant land were in tracts that were 2 acres or larger.

Additional consideration should be given to reforestation opportunities that are available on large former industrial properties as well. The City of Flint, Michigan has undertaken an effort to plant approximately 1,000 trees on its “Chevy in the Hole” brownfield site.

Tree Canopy metrics for Vacant Land in Cuyahoga County Graph
Tree Canopy Metrics for Vacant Land
Vacant tracts overlaid on land cover map
Vacant tracts overlaid on land cover

For downloadable spreadsheets and GIS data, see the Downloads page.

For an interactive version, explore the Land Cover/Tree Canopy layers in our Greenprint Viewer.

Greenprint GIS