Tree San Diego - April Newsletter! 
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… there’s a new field of tree science dedicated to tree care for encouraging birds and other wildlife?  We’re all aware of the Endangered Species Act and other laws protecting wildlife, but it takes more than laws to make sure our region provides suitable and safe habitat for our native and migratory fauna. It takes knowledge of the needs and habits of our wildlife. 
For example, what an arborist about to trim a tree sees as the tree’s flaws is quite different from what a bird or a squirrel sees.  Where the arborist might see the need to thin out over-branching at the end of a truncated limb, the bird might see a well-hidden location perfect for a nest.

Hawks nest, courtesy of West Coast Arborists

When we plant new trees, there are questions we should be asking: What species of tree is conducive to our native birds nesting and hiding from threats?  Is our choice of plants contributing to species diversity?  And when there is work to be done on existing trees, there is the all-important question: When is breeding season for the birds who nest there?  
The Tree Care for Birds and Wildlife Project, formed of arborists and wildlife biologists, is setting about to educate professionals whose work affects natural habitats, especially trees, as well as politicians and the general public about how we all can make our urban forests more wildlife friendly.
To learn more about the work of this newly formed project, visit their website

Logo for Tree Care for Birds and Other Wildlife



Every Kid in a Park: El Centro to Observe
Arbor Day by Reaching Tree-planting Goal

On April 28 at Bucklin Park, the City of El Centro expects to reach its goal of planting 219 trees by the end of April.  TreeSD is partnering with the El Centro Elementary School District and the El Centro High School District to implement this city-park transforming project. The City of El Centro is one of only 10 locations selected by the US Forest Service’s Every Kid in a Park Program for California Arbor Week.
Sunflower Elementary School students, who learned about the benefits of trees and participated in planting their own campus forest, will bring their experience to this expanded project. (To read about planting the campus forest, see our December newsletter.)  Each participating 4th grade student will receive a voucher that can be redeemed as a pass to a National Park.
Eduardo Garcia, Assemblyman for District 56, Coachella Valley, and El Centro’s Mayor Alex Cardenas are supporting the Arbor Day event by attending and speaking at the press conference.   
Additional funding for this project is provided by California ReLeaf and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection as part of the California Climate Investments Program.



Filming for "A Growing Passion"
On Friday, April 7th, Chula Vista’s Jefferson Street became the filming site for KPBS’s A Growing Passion. Host Nan Sterman was prepared with questions for TreeSD community organizers, Bruce Engelbert and Cynthia Irmer, who brought together Girl Scout Troop #5912 led by Irene Barajas, and Urban Corps under supervisor Fernando Rivera, for the filming of a typical TreeSD tree-watering exercise. This special urban forest-focused segment will introduce our efforts to a broad audience of plant enthusiasts in San Diego County.
A Growing Passion host Nan Sterman (at right) interviews TreeSD’s Bruce Englebert about the collaborations that enable our street-tree plantings

As of last spring, Jefferson Street, south of I Street, has been lined on both sides by Brisbane Box trees, planted by TreeSD in collaboration with the City of Chula Vista, represented that afternoon by Councilwoman Pat Aguilar. This program will show San Diego viewers how TreeSD follows up with organized volunteers to make sure the trees we plant survive. It will also highlight the broad range of partners we work with in order to implement our tree-planting goals.  

“Urban Forests: Trees and Plants in the City” – the episode of A Growing Passion featuring the work of TreeSD -- is scheduled to air Thursday, May 18th at 8:30PM, and Saturday, May 20th at 3:30PM on KPBS FM 89.5.  After that it will be available for streaming on the website,
Three Girl Scouts interrupt their weeding to smile for the camera.

Tree Steward Training Roll-out
in Rancho Santa Fe
March 30th at the Rancho Santa Fe Community Center saw the roll-out of TreeSD’s tree-watering module. Designed by TreeSD arborists and conducted by arborist Rachele Melious, this first module of our Tree Steward Training Program is a two-part prototype: the March 30th classroom portion, which was followed by the field-training portion on Earth Day, April 22nd, at the Rancho Santa Fe Arroyo.
The 1-1/2 hour classroom training featured in-depth information about how and why to water, and how to evaluate each individual tree’s watering needs, including how much water to apply and how often, as well as how to design a system to meet those needs. There was also guidance about how to use our Tree Stewardship Manual materials: charts and guidelines about soil, tree type and age/size and, of course, adjustments needed because of changes in the weather. 

In Rancho Santa Fe’s Arroyo, a volunteer fills drip-buckets
placed along the outer edge of a sycamore tree’s canopy.
The 2-hour field training portion of the watering module offered hands-on application of the information from the classroom presentation for a competency-based training exercise. In this training arborist Melious featured how to evaluate and meet the watering needs of the Arroyo’s 20-foot canopy sycamore trees as well as redbud, sycamore and oak trees planted under the direction of TreeSD in January of 2016.
There was a lot of interest in TreeSD intern Jeff Bogart’s soils demonstration, which showed how water infiltrates the three types of soil commonly found in the San Diego region -- clay, loam and sand. Soil type is a major factor in determining how often and how much to water. Participants then worked together to set up both an inline drip irrigation system and a “leaky bucket” system. Significant emphasis was given to how to adapt watering systems to trees as they grow.  
This Tree Steward Training Program is being developed under a grant from The Hunter Family Advised Fund at the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation.




Tree San Diego has just completed planting 800 trees in Chula Vista and Logan Heights. Starting in July we will need scores of volunteers each weekend to help water and weed these trees.  In preparation for that, we are recruiting for several paid, part-time truck drivers and volunteer coordinators, who will manage this major tree care effort.  Please help us spread the word of this opportunity.  The position information and application requirements can be found at:

You can do something positive about San Diego’s tree canopy, mitigating climate change, as well as helping make our air healthier and our region more beautiful. Join TREE SAN DIEGO today. Help us make that difference. 
As San Diego County’s urban forestry non-profit partner, we are building the resources to increase our region’s tree canopy. By becoming a member, you as a private citizen will be actively helping us increase the number of trees we can plant as well as expand our choices for locations where we can plant them, reducing the way-too-big gaps in our urban forest. 


Click on the Member Badge to join our team!


Tree San Diego is looking to expand our dedicated team of volunteers for the rest 2017 and into 2018. If you are passionate about Urban Forestry, Sustainability, and/or being further involved in your local community, please contact Kalli Legakes at to further discuss the ways you can join the Tree San Diego team!
If you are, or know of someone actively seeking an internship to increase professional experience and/or fulfill course requirements, please contact Kalli Legakes at with a self-introduction and resume. 


Funding for San Diego Tree Advantage Program 
has been provided by the California Greenhouse
Gas Reduction Fund through the California
Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
(CAL FIRE) Urban and Community Forestry Program.

Copyright © 2017 Tree San Diego, All rights reserved.

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