Sacramento was crowned the City of Trees. To champion such title Sacramento has many trees, but where does those trees come from?
Sacramento isn’t called the City of Trees for nothing. But those trees use a lot of water, and with California experiencing a record drought, everyone can do their part by cutting water usage. Though agriculture is the biggest culprit for water consumption in the state, residential uses like swimming pools, green lawns, and trees can also be curtailed. Luckily there are many organizations, like the Sacramento Tree Foundation, that want to help.
The Sacramento Tree Foundation will be hosting a water conservation workshop on May 30th, for anyone who wants to learn how to grow and maintain trees in a more water-conscious way. The Foundation, founded in 1982, works to “offer expertise, training, tools, and advice so that we may empower our community to plant, protect, and learn about trees.”
According to their website, the workshop will “discuss responsible watering techniques for young and mature trees, the science behind mulch, and actions you can take to protect your trees during the drought.”
It may seem counter-productive to grow trees at the height of a historic drought, but the benefits are numerous. They absorb pounds of carbon dioxide and return oxygen to the air. The shade they provide reduces the need for air conditioning. They also prevent soil erosion and provide a habitat more all kinds of creatures.
But as with all life trees need water, and that’s where the Sacramento Tree Foundation comes in. Their upcoming workshop aims to help residents curb their water usage while keeping their green thumbs intact.
To learn more and sign up, click here.
Featured image from Flickr under Creative Commons
The sixth season of the Land Park Volunteer Corps began on Saturday March 7th. This is their kickoff park workday. You can join their organization by showing up to any of their future park workdays on the first Saturday of every month or checking out the volunteer page of the William Land Park website.
Anyone who wishes to see more trees in the Sacramento area is welcome to the fifth annual Greenprint Summit, an initiative of The Sacramento Tree Foundation. The event will be held at the Citrus Heights Community Center, 6300 Fountain Square Drive, on January 29th from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm. There’s also a discount for early registration.
“We are celebrating the 10th anniversary of our regional urban forest initiative – Greenprint,” says Ray Tretheway of the Sacramento Tree Foundation. The Summit will showcase research, guest speakers, and audience participation to raise awareness of what the foundation sees as a serious ecological and developmental problem. Confirmed speakers include an Associate Professor at Portland State University and the Chief Prevention Officer at the California Department of Healthcare Services.
“This year the Summit continues our focus on bridging the healthy communities and urban forest agendas to promote increasing the tree canopy cover in all neighborhoods,” Tretheway adds. “National speakers and local activities will highlight the transforming landscapes which are improving our environment while also changing lives.”
Creating more canopies in the region is just one of the many things trees can do for the community, and is something the Greenprint project hopes to achieve in the near future. But to learn about all of the benefits of “urban forestry”, and to be a part of that change, be sure to register for the 5th Annual Greenprint Summit.
To register for the event, click here.
Featured image courtesy of “Rosa Dik 009 — on & off” (Flickr).
Water conscious- Measures the Sacramento Tree Foundation is taking to conserve during California’s water crisis
Driving by the American River and Folsom Lake provides one with visual evidence that we are currently experiencing one of the worst droughts on record in California’s history. According to Normitisu Onishi in a recent New York Times article, the lack of rain and snowfall this winter will affect the lives of 25 million people who will not be receiving water from the Sacramento water district this year, and have severe implications for our states multi-billion dollar agricultural industry.
This intense drought has forced local businesses and organizations like the Sacramento Tree Foundation to reevaluate the way it uses water in our state. They have started sharing their knowledge with local homeowners in the hopes that we can all make different choices when it comes to water use.
The Sacramento Tree Foundation (STF) has been dedicated to the growth and maintenance of a healthy urban forest since 1982. Their long term goal has always been to plant as many trees as possible in the Sacramento region, but along the way they have educated countless neighbors in tree care and the basics of urban forestry- maintaining populations of trees planted in efforts to improve air and soil quality.
A drought like this has all the makings of undoing their hard work- on January 14, the city adopted a “Stage 2 Water Shortage Contingency Plan”, mandating a 20 to 30% water consumption reduction per household and once-weekly watering for yards. However, the Sacramento Tree Foundation is doing everything possible to insure the survival of trees in the region through education and smart planting.
Earlier this month, Executive Director Ray Tretheway released information to the members and supporters of the Sacramento Tree Foundation outlining the importance of urban forestry and water conservation. He explains the importance of conserving our urban forest and using water wisely in the meantime.
“The region’s economy, environment and quality of life reap the benefits of over 7 million trees,” Tretheway says. “The vast majority of these trees have been planted by hand, not nature.” For an environment that was never accustomed to naturally supplying water for these 7 million trees, this limitation is especially prevalent in times of drought. But the STF has several helpful hints for keeping our trees healthy without wasting water. Tip #1? Add mulch.
“Mulch is good for soil and trees year round…[and] holds water in the soil,” Tretheway advises. “Mulch is nutrient rich, reinvigorating the health of the soil and trees.”
You can buy mulch at any gardening store, but one easy way to get a hold of cheap, high-quality mulch is through composting. The material that composting creates is called ‘humus’, which is filled with essential nutrients plants need to fight disease while retaining moisture. The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) is a major advocate of household composting for more reasons than growing healthy plants.
According to the EPA, the “composting process has been shown to absorb odors and treat semivolatile and volatile organic compounds, including heating fuels, polyaromatic hydrocarbons and explosives. The compost process degrades and, in some cases, completely eliminates wood and preservatives, pesticides, and both chlorinated and non chlorinated hydrocarbons in contaminated soil.”
By composting to support trees, we can also reduce several major carcinogens from our atmosphere that contribute to respiratory diseases and cancer.
Other tips Tretheway suggests are to eradicate weeds and unwanted plants that outcompete your tree for water, and to choose the right tree for planting.
“More shade is better than less,” he suggests, “Choose the largest tree that will still fit comfortably in the planting area when it is mature. Choose trees based on longevity, water use, and pest and disease resistance.”
Ultimately, with the current drought limiting our water supply, it is important take every measure into consideration before we decide to use this vital resource. For more information in regards to tree care, and the conservation of water during the drought, visit sactree.com, and consider volunteering.
“Trees are connected to economic prosperity and to the health and well-being of the region’s citizens.” Tretheway reminds us. “Today, this remarkable hand-planted urban forest is a defining feature of our region.”
In order to keep our trees alive during the drought, we all must take extra precautions to prevent dehydrating them while being conscious of the current lack of resources.
I wanted to film all the trees in my neighborhood, this short video is most of the trees in my area. I never realized we had so many. I wanted to add a song in my video because I love music and I thought it would go great with this video. Hope you guys like it. The artist of the song is Gorillaz the name of the song is “Slow Country”.
For the longest time I’ve noticed all the different trees in Sacramento. Especially when I would take the bus to school, it was an hour bus ride so I got to notice a lot of trees. I think one of the main reasons why I like Sacramento is because of all the different trees. When I was younger I did not notice that their were Palm trees as well as different kinds of Oak trees.
Did you know in William Land Park by the parking lot near the golf club house there is a Willow Oak tree? According to www.sactree.com, the Willow Oak tree is a native of Eastern U.S., common in New Jersey, Florida, and East Texas. That tree came a long way. I like the Sactree.com website, it has a lot of information about trees, how to plant trees, and also how to care for them. I noticed on their website that the Sacramento Tree Foundation has a lot of events. I was reading an article on this page called “Urban Forest Monitor” published by The Sacramento Tree Foundation. It was talking about an event that just passed called “Keepin’ Cool In Oak Park”, it was on Saturday July 28th at McClatchy Park. It was hosted by the Sacramento Tree Foundation. The reason for that event was to celebrate 25 years of service to the Sacramento Region’s Urban Forest. I thought that was really cool.
Another thing I want to write about is the different diseases some trees have. I did not know trees were able to carry diseases. Trees make oxygen and clean the air, if they have a disease I think that might have an effect on us. Another article on www.sactree.com called “Trees and Air Quality” kinda talks about that. It says that according to their population and species data it “shows that a small gradual change in the regional tree species mix can help reduce ground level ozone, which is a public health concern. Ozone at high levels in the atmosphere protects the earth, but at ground level it is irritant that increases susceptibility to respiratory infections and diseases.” It also says “different tree species emit different levels of biogenic gases, which help create ground level ozone. Even a small shift in the tree species population can help improve the air .” The solution is when planting a tree do some research to look up soil type all of that helps trees grow better.
I looked up some more tree diseases and this one is infecting Elm Trees. Its called Dutch Elm Disease, I got the information from www.na.fs.fed.us, it was talking about the signs of Dutch Elm Disease. The first sign is “fungus infecting the vascular (water conducting) system of the tree. Infection by the fungus results in clogging of vascular tissues, preventing water movement to the crown and causing visual symptoms as the tree wilts and dies. Multiple branches may be individually infected, resulting in symptom development at several locations in the crown.”Symptoms begin in late spring or any time later during the growing season.” I thought that was crazy, but yet interesting. If you want to know more about the Dutch Elm Disease visit the website. I hope you enjoyed my article about some of the trees out there in our city.
”City of Trees”
by Mark Perrigan
Our trees provide a loving, protective canopy we often take for granted.
Aiden dreams of a special tree and an opportunity lost far away
and long ago in Sacramento.
Place Called Sacramento Film Festival 2009