New residents in city’s ‘little forests’

By Cory Golden/Enterprise staff writer
Davis, CA (October 11, 2007)- A new generation of Davis trees soon will be planted as part of NeighborWoods Month. The city and a slew of volunteers from nonprofit TREE Davis plan to plant more than 75 front-yard street trees. A celebration of the work, with speakers and volunteer training, will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at 240 Pintail Place. The event is one of more than 200 scheduled planting, education and training efforts planned nationwide during October.

NeighborWoods Month is a campaign of the Alliance for Community Trees, of which TREE Davis is a member. Though TREE Davis hopes to receive calls from other residents who would like a free tree planted, the organization and the city will begin by focusing their efforts on the Oeste, Northstar and J Street neighborhoods. That’s where a recent inventory of street trees found about half of the trees in the city’s database were missing, TREE Davis executive director Ruth Williams said.
About half of the 150 property owners in those neighborhoods who have space for a new tree within the city’s 10-foot easement have agreed to participate. Plantings will continue through December. Williams said her organization would like to see 120 or more trees planted.
“I want to see more tree canopies over yards and sidewalks,” she said. “We plant a lot on the greenbelts, in parks and at schools, but I want to see trees where people actually live, where they spend time outside and walk their dogs.”
She and city arborist Rob Caine will speak with each homeowner and choose a tree best suited for that location. Many of the missing trees likely were removed because the wrong species was selected or problems arose with the tree. “Hopefully, by investing the time and energy into having those conversations, it’ll be more successful,” Williams said.
TREE Davis volunteers or city workers will prune and monitor the young trees for three years. It will typically fall on property owners to water them and rake their leaves, though in some instances, if an owner is disabled or elderly, for example, the city will water the tree.
The Center for Urban Forest Research at UC Davis has found trees can cut summer cooling bills by 30 percent and help extend the life of streets by up to 50 percent. One hundred trees can remove 5 tons of carbon dioxide and 1,000 pound of pollutants from the air. And trees can boost property values by as much as 10 percent. “More than individual properties, trees affect the whole neighborhood,” Williams said. “Neighborhoods with a canopy of trees have a sense of place.”
ACT’s NeighborWoods campaign is supported by The Home Depot Foundation. It provided $13,260 for the Davis project, matched by $13,000 from the city. The money will pay for planting this fall and provide a foundation for continuing the project in the future by paying for the purchase of banners, posters, door hangers and other items. The Woodland Home Depot store is another sponsor.
TREE Davis has scheduled a full-day young tree care workshop for Oct. 25.
For the full article, visit the Davis Enterprise.
Related Resources:
TREE Davis
City of Davis