Changing Our City, One Tree at a Time
On May 15, a group of neighbors and volunteers gathered in the Buena Vista to dig holes and plant trees. In an effort organized by O.C.F. over the course of a few morning hours, streets were transformed as new trees took root.
Our City Forest is a nonprofit organization dedicated to cultivating a green and healthy Silicon Valley by engaging the community in the protection, growth and maintenance of our urban ecosystem, with special focus on our urban forest.
They accomplish their mission by providing people with low to no-cost trees and shrubs to restore green spaces in the Santa Clara County.
Why should you plant trees in the neighborhood? There are lots of reasons. Through photosynthesis, trees absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen. The average tree can clean up to 330 pounds of carbon dioxide annually while emitting enough oxygen for a whole family.
Planting shade trees on the south and west faces of your house can reduce winter heating bills by up to 15% and summer cooling bills by up to 50%.
Studies show that neighborhoods with significant greenery report fewer instances of crime and less insecurity, resulting from a greater sense of community.
Trees benefit human health: scientific studies confirm that trees in cities provide social and psychological benefits. Humans derive substantial pleasure from trees, whether it is inspiration from their beauty, a spiritual connection, or a sense of meaning. Views of nature reduce stress response by both body and mind. Urban green also appears to have positive effects on the human immune system.
Closely spaced trees along roads tend to slow traffic by giving the impression of narrow roads and speed as they zoom past your windows. They also serve as a buffer zone between streets and sidewalks, creating safer environments for joggers, pedestrians and children at play.
Want to get rid of your water guzzling lawn and transform it into a drought tolerant landscape but cant afford to; Our City Forest can help you out. Their Lawn Busters crew is available for people who otherwise couldn't afford to bust their lawn. Qualified homeowners receive subsidized services on a donation basis, including a landscape plan, materials, and labor for a water-wise turf conversion. If you're interested in getting trees for your park strip or residence, or if you are interested in volunteer opportunities with Our City Forest, visit them online:
Call Before You Dig
Trees are awesome, but hitting buried utilities is a nightmare. Before you start digging, call 811, its fast and it’s free. Calling before you begin work ensures that underground utilities - including electrical and natural gas lines - will be marked so you can work around them safely.
Marking utilities helps prevent personal injuries that could result if contact is made with an underground line.
Did you know that the City of San Jose requires permits to plant, prune, or remove street trees (this is any tree within 10 feet of the street regardless of its on private property). The goal is to ensure that street trees are planted and pruned correctly according to established professional standards.
Permits are provided free of cost. Both property owners and tree care professionals must have a copy of the permit on site before any tree work may begin.
For more information call the City of San Jose.