Grow Trees Together

Let’s do this together! In the San Diego region, we can share knowledge and resources needed to increase our urban forest. If you are interested in the planting and long-term care of trees, we want to work with you.

We are uniting tree advocates with a broad spectrum of reasons for supporting tree planting. Knowing your motivation can identify how you can support our campaign to Grow Trees Together! Are you willing to reach out within your community to identify locations for trees, encourage tree planting and care, and support trees as they mature? Join us!

What do we need?

Here’s the fundamentals for growing a healthy canopy – together.

  • Purpose. It takes a commitment to grow a tree. Many organizations have missions that could be partially met by growing trees, for such purposes as faith (for creation care), wildlife habitat, native plants, gardens, fruit production, climate action.
  • Places. Trees can be grown at schoolyards, universities-colleges, public streets, parks, residential neighborhoods, homeowners’ associations, parking lots, and other institutional properties.
  • Plan. Confirm places to plant trees, places to plant trees. Map places for street trees (see example).
  • Purchase. Trees can be purchased at retail nurseries, funded by donations, distributed to those who request trees, planted as street trees (and HOAs), and installed by landscapers.  How to get a tree
  • Planting and young tree care .

What’s your motivation?

We know that trees have a cooling effect, especially in urban environments. Heat islands form where shade is lacking, and we know increasing heat is one of the deadly impacts of climate change. Existing tree canopies show the history of bias in urbanization and there are fewer trees in low-income neighborhoods and some neighborhoods of color.

Planting native trees supports the survival of local birds and other wildlife. Fruit trees can provide the environmental benefits of a tree, while providing a local food source for your home or community.

What are the challenges?

  • Local capacity for state and federal “urban greening” and tree planting grants has been limited, and in mid-September 2023, the USDA Forest Service announced $15 million grants to five cities and Tree San Diego, from the Inflation Reduction Act funds
  • Urban Tree Planting Challenges in San Diego County, 2022, 27-page report, from Tree San Diego
  • Tree Planting Cost-Benefit Analysis: A Case Study for Urban Forest Equity in Los Angeles, 26-page report, from TreePeople, 2021
  • “Must-read” articles about tree distribution and planting programs (most 5-6 pages)
  • Darker side of tree planting programs, many have fallen short of their goals, news article 2021, Bloomberg News
  • Free trees? Many Detroit residents say “no,” news article 2020 from New York Times