Grow San Diego's urban canopy with the city's 'free tree' program

(KGTV) — As a part of the Urban Forestry Program Five Year Plan, the City of San Diego is offering a “Free Tree” program for San Diegans.

The "Free Tree" program is an attempt to help beautify communities and increase the quality of life and health for San Diego residents.

According to the City of San Diego, "All you have to do is identify a space in the public right-of-way that could benefit from a new tree and request a tree either by email or phone at 619-527-7500."

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After sending your request, City horticulturists will evaluate the proposed space and determine an appropriate tree selection accordingly.

The tradeoff is your signature of a watering agreement with the City agreeing to water the tree for three years, as it grows.

Benefits from increasing the urban canopy are:

- Energy savings: A well-placed large shade tree can provide an average savings of $9 on home air conditioning costs each year.

- Environmental benefits: 100 large, mature trees have the potential to remove seven tons of carbon dioxide, including 328 pounds of other air pollutants, and catch approximately 215,000 gallons of rainwater each year.

- Healthier communities: Statistics show that tree-filled neighborhoods are safer, more sociable, and help to reduce body and mental stress.

- Economic growth: In tree-lined business districts, shoppers report more frequent shopping, longer shopping trips, and a willingness to pay more for parking.

For complete information on the Urban Forest Management Plan, check out the City of San Diego's Urban Forestry Program online publication.
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