The science is in, and the more trees a city has, the happier and less stressed the residents are. So when searching for a great city to move to, finding the “greenest city” is a great place to start.

There is probably little surprise to learn that Alaska takes the top spot, but many of you might be surprised to see Texas in second and Montana in this place.

Although the USA doesn’t have the most trees out of any country in the world, below are the best states for trees locally.

Most to least trees by state

StateNumber of treesTrees Per Capita
New Mexico6,175,000,0002,945
New York4,725,000,000243
North Carolina4,650,000,000443
South Carolina3,250,000,000631
West Virginia3,000,000,0001,674

#1 Alaska

Alaska has a whopping 31.7 Million trees, which not only makes it the state with the most trees, but with so few people living there compared to other states, it has 43,401 trees for every person living there.

With 120 state parts and 3 state forests Alaska is as wild as they get, and I can’t see it being knocked off the top spot any time this century.

#2 Texas

Texas was a surprise to me personally as I always figured it was more desert than forests, but being such a large state the terrain changes as you move further east in the state.

With an estimated 15.6 million trees and a colossal 25 million forested acres, Texas has one of the highest tree counts for such a small percentage of the state being forested at just 37.33%.

#3 Montana

Montana has a population of just over 1 million people, but a tree population of 6.3 million trees which earns it a bronze medal for the state with the most trees.

WIth 54 state forests and endless streets lined with trees, it’s no wonder it came at the pointy end of the list.

Urban trees do need removal occasionally when they become a danger to residents and the cost of tree removal by local services is some of the lowest in the country at just $766 a full 12% below the national average of $871.

#4 Georgia

Georgia just got pipped for third place with an estimated 6.3 million trees. Just 100,000 less than Montana. Where Georgia beats the top 3 hands down is the percent of land forested coming in at a huge 67.28%. Compare that with Montana, which only has 27.45% of its land forested.

The state tree in Georgia is the Southern Live Oak (Quercus virginiana) which comes under constant attack from Laura Wilt and Sudden Oak Death. Georgia has many invasive species, the most prominent being the Chinese Tallow Tree.

#5 New Mexico

New Mexico also slipped into 5th spot with an estimated 6.1 million trees. With over 24,000,000 forested acres, New Mexico really is a green state. There are 2,945 trees per capita scattered across 7 state parks and 25 state forests.

The Piñon Pine (Pinus edulis) can be found in most state forests and is the state tree. With less than 1% of the country’s population living in New Mexico at just over 2 million there are 10 times more trees than people.

Ben McInerney
Author: Ben McInerney - Ben is a qualified arborist with 15 plus years of industry experience in Arboriculture. He ran a successful tree service before turning to writing and publishing. Ben is dedicated to providing users with the most accurate up-to-date information on everything trees.