Evaluating the quality of street trees in Washington, D.C. Implications for environmental justice

Fang Fang, Andrew Jordan Greenlee, Yaqian He, Earl Eutsler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Urban street trees are part of the bundle of environmental amenities that support healthy social, economic, and environmental functions. In this study, we systematically evaluate the quality of 196,825 street trees at the US. Census tract level in Washington D.C., as well as related impacts from socioeconomic, landscape patterns and environmental factors using Ordinary least-squares (OLS) regression, geographically weighted regression (GWR) and structural equation modeling (SEM). Our results reveal that environmental and socioeconomic factors can explain most of the spatial variation of street tree quality in Washington, D.C. There is a substantial statistical negative relationship between median household income and the percent of street trees under stress, which provided the evidence of the inequities of street tree quality in Washington D.C. Higher-income neighborhoods exhibited a lower proportion of street trees under stress. In addition, the extreme summer temperature is positively associated with the proportion of street trees under stress. The quality of street trees is directly impacted by environmental and landscape pattern factors. There is also an indirect impact from socioeconomic factor toward quality of street trees. Our findings suggest that multiple variables, related to income, age, education, landscape pattern, and environment contribute to the quality of street trees in D.C. Based upon our findings, we identify strategies and insights for urban street tree management in DC to not only address environmental inequity and injustice, but also promote a more inclusive and resilient urban greenery system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number127947
JournalUrban Forestry and Urban Greening
StatePublished - Jul 2023


  • Environmental justice
  • Resilience
  • Street tree
  • Tree health
  • Urban forest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Ecology
  • Soil Science


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