Urban Heat and Trees

Urban heat in our increasingly hot, dry summers can be extreme and dangerous. The urban heat island effect describes how heat can radiate off surfaces- buildings, roadways, roofs- and intensify already hot air temperature.  Trees are important to keeping our city cool and healthy. Their shade directly cools surfaces and they also move water called evapoative cooling. 

In 2020, King County and the City of Seattle joined forces to measure heat throughout the county. The study showed inequality in urban heat - where you live in Seattle determines how hot or cool your temperatures are. This study is helping determine where to prioritize the work of planting and maintaining trees in the City. 

Report of the heat study findings