These urban forest Protocols set out the rules that projects must follow in order to earn certified carbon credits.  These rules include:

  • Where do the projects occur?
  • How long do projects have to last?
  • When does a project receive credits?
  • How is the carbon quantified?

Our drafting group of national urban and community forest stakeholders has developed two urban forest protocols, one for tree planting projects and one for tree preservation projects.

Our protocols include:

  • An innovative bundled credit that includes quantified storm water runoff reduction, energy savings, and air quality with a metric ton of CO2.  Plus all the other co-benefits of city forests
  • New, streamlined quantification methods for planting projects using both a single tree method and a canopy method, along with spreadsheets that include all steps from data collection to calculation of CO2
  • A first-ever urban tree preservation protocol (“avoided conversion”).

Posted now are updated versions of the Planting Protocol as of October 2017 and the Preservation Protocol as of February 2018.  We have also provided short summaries of protocol requirements for those of you who want something more succinct. 

Please use the submittal form below to make any comments on our urban forest carbon protocols, ask questions, or ask for email updates from us. Or email us directly at  

Comment on the City Forest Carbon Protocols.

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