1. California Needs Urban Forests

    Ask anyone and they’ll most likely tell you they love trees. California’s cities and towns need trees, but not just to beautify the landscape. Trees do so much more!   Click on the infographic below to visit a fully interactive version on our website. The next time someone asks you, “Why trees?” you’ll have some pretty great answers.  
  2. California City Receives National Grant Funds

    Bank of America Partners With American Forests: $250,000 Grant to Fund Assessment of Urban Forests and Climate Change in Five U.S. Cities   Washington, D.C.; May 1, 2013 — National conservation organization American Forests announced today that it has received a $250,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to conduct urban forest assessments in five U.S. cities over the next six months. The selected cities are Asbury Park, N.J.; Atlanta, Ga.; Detroit, Mich.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Pasadena, Calif.   It is estimated that urban trees in the lower 48 states remove approximately 784,000 tons of air pollution annually,...
  3. Congresswoman Matsui Introduces TREES Act

    Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) celebrated Arbor Day by introducing The Residential Energy and Economic Savings Act, otherwise known as TREES Act. This legislation would establish a grant program to assist electric utilities with energy conservation programs that use targeted tree planting to reduce residential energy demand. This legislation will help homeowners lower their electric bills – and help utilities lower their peak load demand – by reducing residential energy demand caused by the need to run air conditioners at a high level.   “As we continue to tackle the combined challenges of high energy costs and the effects of climate...
  4. San Jose’s Trees Boost Economy by $239M Annually

    A recently completed study of San Jose’s urban forest revealed that San Jose is second only to Los Angeles in impervious cover. After mapping San Jose’s trees from the air using lasers, researchers discovered that 58 percent of the city is covered with buildings, asphalt or concrete. And 15.4 percent is covered with trees.   Despite the significant difference in canopy vs. concrete cover, San Jose’s urban forest still manages to boost the city’s economic value by $239 million annually. That’s $5.7 billion over the next 100 years.   Mayor Chuck Reed’s Green Vision plan, meant to plant 100,000 more...
  5. Take a Walk in the Park

    A recent study from Edinburgh used new technology, a portable version of the electroencephalogram (EEG), to track the brain waves of students walking through different types of environments. The objective was to measure the cognitive impacts of green space. The study confirmed that green spaces lessen brain fatigue.   To read more about the study, its objectives and findings, and for a great excuse to go for walk in the middle of your day, click here.
  6. Wood Utilization Options for Insect-Killed Urban Trees

    Washington, DC (February 2013) – The U.S. Forest Service has released a new handbook, “Wood Utilization Options for Urban Trees Infested by Invasive Species,” to provide guidance on best uses and practices for dead and dying urban trees infected by invasive insects in the eastern U.S.   The downloadable publication, developed by the Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory and the University of Minnesota Duluth, offers advice for considering the many available options for using insect-killed wood. This includes a listing of the wide variety of products and markets that are available for this wood, such as lumber, furniture, cabinetry, flooring,...
  7. Celebrate California Arbor Week

    Today marks the beginning of California Arbor Week. March 7-14 is the perfect time for you to celebrate the trees in your community and the benefits they bring. You can click here to learn more about California Arbor Week. In the meantime, watch this message from CAL FIRE Director Chief Ken Pimlott to hear why California Arbor Week and the trees in our communities are so important.
  8. A Challenge to California’s Cities

    Last week, American Forests announced the 10 best U.S. cities for urban forests.  California had one city on that list – Sacramento.  In a state where over 94% of our population lives in an urban area, or roughly 35 million Californians, it’s deeply concerning that more of our cities didn’t make the list and that urban forests aren’t a top priority for our elected officials and policy makers.  We live in a state that makes many top 10 lists, including 6 of the top 10 U.S. cities with the worst air pollution.  Our urban forests, our cities’ green infrastructure, should be a top priority...
  9. We’ll Drink to That!

    This year, Barefoot Wineries has created a new wine called “Impressions” to celebrate the work that nonprofits to to strengthen our communities. Each bottle will feature a “Sole of the Year”.   We’re proud to say that the founder of Urban Releaf, a California ReLeaf Network member, is one of those “soles”!   Kemba Shakur founded Urban Releaf in Oakland. Since 1998, they’ve planted more than 15,000 trees. We’re proud to call them members and happy to see urban forestry identified as a great cause to change communities.   Congratulations, Kemba! We know you’ll continue to make a difference in...
  10. The Physics of Trees

    Have you ever wondered about why certain trees only grow so tall or why some trees have giant leaves while others have small leaves? Turns out, it’s physics.   Recent studies at University of California, Davis, and Harvard University published in this week’s issue of the journal Physical Review Letters explain that leaf size and tree height have to do with the branching vascular system that nourishes the tree from leaf to trunk. To read more about the physics of trees and how they work, you can read the full study synopsis on the UCD website.