While closed canopy forests have been an important focal point for land cover change monitoring and climate change mitigation, less consideration has been given to methods for large scale measurements of trees outside of forests. Trees outside of forests are an important but often overlooked natural resource throughout sub-Saharan Africa, providing benefits for livelihoods as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation. In this study, the development of an individual tree cover map using very high-resolution remote sensing and a comparison with a new automated machine learning mapping product revealed an important contribution of trees outside of forests to landscape tree cover and carbon stocks in a region where trees outside of forests are important components of livelihood systems. Here, we test and demonstrate the use of allometric scaling from remote sensing crown area to provide estimates of landscape-scale carbon stocks. Prominent biomass and carbon maps from global-scale remote sensing greatly underestimate the “invisible” carbon in these sparse tree-based systems. The measurement of tree cover and carbon in these landscapes has important application in climate change mitigation and adaptation policies.