January 11, 2016

CAL FIRE Project

Summary of Tree San Diego’s CAL FIRE Project July 2015 – December 2019



To increase the tree canopy in selected disadvantaged communities in a way that will increase the trees’ long-term survival rate and provide numerous ongoing human and environmental benefits. A disadvantaged community is defined by the CalEnviroScreen 2.0 tool as being 75% or more on that scale.


To create community forests by planting 1,200 trees along with compatible understory in 10-15% of those areas. Approximately 300 trees will be planted in San Diego and 900 trees in Chula Vista.


(1) Trees added in public spaces in disadvantaged communities–selected, planted, and maintained for 2-3 years–along with watering and pruning. (2) Successful approaches to tree selection, planting, and maintenance that will increase the long-term survivability of trees in disadvantaged communities. Challenges exist to permanently increasing the tree canopy in disadvantaged communities. Residents may be less agreeable to having trees planted adjacent to their homes and less likely to help maintain and protect the trees, especially if there is a perceived economic burden. Specific deliverables include a model of community involvement, educational materials and events, and job opportunities. (3) Successful approaches that take into account the region’s changing environmental conditions by directly addressing the challenge of tree survival in a region with very low periodic rainfall and increased episodes of heat events. Specific deliverables include a water-wise plant palette and knowledge about how appropriate understory species improve tree survivability.


• A significant amount of sequestered GHG (stored CO2) • Improved stormwater capture, water quality, and soil moisture • Reduced volatile organic compounds and improved air quality • Reduced urban heat and energy requirements • Human benefits including improved physical and mental health, beautiful shaded public spaces, and increased community cohesion. • Increased acceptance, involvement, and tree stewardship by residents. • Improved tree survival rates.

Major partners

urbancorpUrban Corps will provide services including tree and understory acquisition, planting, monitoring, maintenance, and selected watering. In the City of San Diego One San Diego will provide their close connection with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer to ensure that the city’s staff will provide the requisite support, connect Tree San Diego to the best local community organizations so they can work together to create tree stewardship; arrange public planting and maintenance events involving the Mayor, City Council members, and other notable figures to generate widespread positive public recognition for these new sections of urban forest.

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