Los Angeles is Giving Out Free Trees for Yards and Neighborhoods

The city wants to increase its green canopy.

Dec 5, 2019

(Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com)

Trees are really important for the health of our planet. They provide oxygen, remove CO2, clean the air and are an important first defense in the fight against climate change.

Trees also improve the quality of life for people in cities like Los Angeles where they provide shade and help cool the city streets. But the city has been losing trees due to drought, pests, and old age at an alarming rate according to City Plants.

That's why Los Angeles's Green New Deal sustainability plan is planting 90,000 trees in the city over the next two years. The city also has ambitious plans to become net zero, going to 100 percent renewable energy, and creating green jobs during this time frame.

The tree planting includes an extra bonus for LA residents. The city will give up to seven free yard or street trees to residents in a partnership with City Plants. It's really easy to do. Just go to the website, apply, and pick out trees from the two-dozen listed on the website. All will grow in LA and most are drought resistant.

The trees range from small flowering trees like trees bronze and crape myrtles, that only grow 25 feet all the way to towering African Ferns and Aleppo pines that can grow over 80 feet.  

“A family can sit at their computer in their PJs, pick out a tree online and have it delivered to their yard,” Los Angeles's first forest officer, Rachel Malarich told the LA Times. “All the work is done for them up to the actual planting. But don’t worry. The trees come with stakes, ties and fertilizer pellets, along with easy-to-follow instructions on how to plant them.”

Neighbors can band together and request free trees from the website and Malarich said that one of their nonprofit partners will come and inspect the site. “If it meets our criteria — enough space between the sidewalk and the road; no low overhead power lines — they will obtain the necessary city permits and plant the trees for them. The neighbors must sign an agreement to water them for at least the first five years, ” she said.

Of course, the recipients are responsible for the care and feeding (watering) of their trees. In fact, they have to sign a five-year agreement to water them. Trees like children need special care in their first five-years of life Malarich explained.

“If you don’t check once a week, the tree could either die or get stressed out and stop growing,” she said. “If you get it past that point, you can slow down on the watering and enjoy your relationship to a living thing as you watch it grow.”

Los Angeles is not the only city that is working on growing its tree canopy. Milan, Italy has started an ambitious program to plant 3 million trees that will help clean the city's polluted air. Countries worldwide have also started tree planting campaigns including India, New Zealand, and Turkey. Getting every country onboard will help control global warming and save our planet.

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Milan, Italy is Going Green by Planting 3 Million Trees
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New Zealand Just Announced a Plan to Plant One Billion Trees

BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.