The City of West Hollywood is hosting a Tree Giveaway program for participants to receive one tree and one water bag free of charge. The City’s Tree Giveaway program webpage features information about the program and application process, as well as educational information about how to plant and maintain these young trees. The deadline to apply for the City’s Tree Giveaway program is Thursday, December 1, 2022 in order to provide City staff sufficient time to acquire the trees. The Tree Giveaway program application is located on the program webpage and via this link: https://wehoforms.seamlessdocs.com/f/WeHoTrees.
The Tree Giveaway program is open to all West Hollywood residents and businesses with suitable tree planting conditions. Participants will select their preferred tree species (first choice) and an alternative (second choice) from a list with more than 50 options. The list provides a hyperlink to review in-depth species information and it notes each species’ characteristics, preferred site conditions, sun exposure, water rating, canopy size at maturity, native tree status, and type(s) of wildlife it will attract. Overall, the list has 42 climate-appropriate and 9 California native tree species from which to choose. Changes to preferred species will not be accepted after the application deadline.
All trees will be in a 15-gallon container and approximately 6’ feet tall. The application form requires participants to agree to a Tree Steward Pledge and the City’s Waiver of Tree Liability. Participants will also be asked to select one pick up date on the application form. There will be two tree pick-up dates: Friday, January 13, 2023 from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.; and Saturday, January 14, 2023 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Trees must be picked-up from the City of West Hollywood’s Operations Center, located at 7317 Romaine Street. City Staff will work with participants that require special accommodations in advance of tree pick-up dates.
The Tree Giveaway program page includes an array of young tree care best practices educational videos, which will assist tree owners in maintaining strong and healthy trees into maturity, including: tree planting and watering guides; how to stake and tie a tree; how to mulch; how to prune; how to avoid tree root damage; how to check for tree pests; how to hire a Certified Arborist; and much more.
Through this effort, the City hopes to raise awareness about the benefits trees provide and to increase the City’s local tree canopy on private properties. “Tree canopy” or tree canopy cover refers to the proportion of land area covered by tree crowns over the ground when viewed from above. Tree canopy is an important measure of the urban forest resource.
Trees provide a myriad of environmental and community benefits because of the ecosystem services they provide — such as filtering air pollution including particulate matter, producing oxygen, sequestering carbon dioxide, providing shade, regulating temperatures (cooler ambient air), absorbing and retaining water runoff/stormwater runoff, improving water quality, reducing erosion, providing beauty, improving physical and mental human health, providing food and habitat for wildlife, and increasing nearby property values. Trees reduce heating and air conditioning (HVAC) loads which decreases energy consumption and reduces costs for building occupants. Additionally, the more tree species populating an area increases urban biodiversity and builds local resilience against tree-related pests and disease.