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Tree San Diego's History

From tree-planting and Tree Stewards training to community engagement and workforce development, our team has provided the residents of San Diego County with all they need to know about trees, the benefits they provide, and the skills they need to care for them. We invite you to learn more about our story and how our first planting event seeded the idea (and reality!) of a greener, more sustainable future!

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The First Tree

It started with a seed and the idea to become the voice for our collective urban forest. That seed was planted in 2014 and lead to the growth of an environmental nonprofit that spoke for the trees. That nonprofit was Tree San Diego. 

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Connecting with Communities

During our first year we reached out to communities throughout San Diego County. We collected data, spoke with residents, learned about the challenges of tree-planting in our region, and began making a plan to expand the urban forest. 

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Milestone: 500 Trees

With help from agencies like CALFIRE and local municipalities, TSD received a number of environmental grants to begin building the region's tree care, maintenance and monitoring network through our Tree Stewards training program.

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Partnerships Grow

Continued support fostered through collaborative projects expanded accessibility to resources that fostered growth throughout the urban forestry sector.  

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Milestone: 1,000 Trees

Working with community leaders, residents and volunteers from all corners of the county, we planted our 1,000th tree!

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Branch Out San Diego is Born

Our first resident-focused project was outlined and proposed to state agencies to begin funding a 1,500 trees to be planted and distributed directly to community members in underserved neighborhoods. 



Milestone: 5,000 Trees

Through projects like Trejuvenation, Tree Advantage, Branch Out, and Grow Native, we reached our milestone of planting 5,000 trees with more than 500 volunteers.

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Expanding Our Mission

With a new strategic plan in place ready to be implemented, the TSD team created new opportunities to explore the life cycle of trees, the recycling of urban wood, and the introductions of different technologies like MSI and photogrammetry into project scopes.

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Creating Jobs

The need for an unban forestry  workforce development training program was identified in 2022. Tree San Diego's Treejectory paid training program was created to address this need. A total of 150 cohort members graduated within 18 months!

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Milestone: 8,000 Trees & Proclamations 

On a roll, we celebrated our 8,000th tree planted in 2023. This particular milestone marker and event took place at a school in need of expanded tree canopy. At this time the County of San Diego read a proclamation to designate November 15th "Tree San Diego Day."

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Celebrating 10 Years & 10,000 Trees

Planting our 10,000th tree is one of many milestones we reached in 2024. Of the celebratory moments to highlight, we also sent our team members to the World Forum of Urban Forests in DC, met President Biden on Earth Day, and received our first $2 million federal grant!

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