Metro Louisville has hired a firm to do the city’s first tree canopy assessment.

The city has a long-term goal of getting to a 45-percent tree canopy coverage, with specific goals of minimizing the urban heat island effect and improving stormwater drainage. It could also reduce smog and ozone alert days “by cooling the city’s atmosphere,” the city said.

The assessment is meant to help the city reach that goal. Davey Resource Group will undertake it.

The city said the firm will include the use aerial photography, and it will consider the tree canopy to socio-demographic and economic data.  

The assessment is the latest step in the city’s tree-related goals. Last year, the city hired an urban forester and planted 10,000 trees. 

The assessment will cost $115,700, a city spokeswoman said. It includes $15,700 in donations to the city’s tree commission. The rest will be split evenly between the city and the Metropolitan Sewer District.

The city expects the assessment to be finished in December.