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Irvine—An Arbor Day Tree USA City

Posted: 30 Oct 2013 05:00 AM PDT

Trees help define the beauty and master-planning of our City….We love our trees.”—Irvine Mayor Steven Choi

“Trees are vital to the public infrastructure of cities and towns throughout the country, providing numerous environmental, social and economic benefits.”—Arbor Day Foundation

Did you know that Irvine is one of Arbor Day’s Tree Cities USA? With 23 years on the Tree City USA list, Irvine has been a Tree City USA for quite a few years.

So why should we care? Trees provide aesthetic value that adds to the enjoyment of a home or neighborhood and increase property values. In addition, they are the “lungs of the earth.” They take in carbon dioxide, which reduces pollution, and then give back oxygen, which, of course, we need to breathe. They also control dust and provide shade. 

Irvine’s Official City Tree, the Camphor Tree, courtesy Wikipedia

“When a community becomes a Tree City USA, it means more than being able to display a road sign or fly the flag. Tree City USA is the basis for effective, well-organized tree care programs. Along with community pride are practical benefits such as helping to gain financial support for tree projects, contributing to safer and healthier urban forests and allowing municipal officials to deliver better service to the voting public.” –Tree City USA

The Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters have established four criteria for obtaining Tree City USA status. These four criteria require that cities or towns establish the following: Tree Board or Department, Tree Care Ordinance, Community Forestry Program With an Annual Budget of at Least $2 Per Capita, and an Arbor Day Observance and Proclamation.

Tip: Improper pruning can result in stress on trees that can lead to unhealthy and hazardous trees. To help in maintaining the value and safety of a home, click on the free link that the Arbor Day Association provides for proper pruning tips.

Note: To maintain the health, safety, and value of the trees owned by the City of Irvine, Irvine follows the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) pruning standards, and the pruning is performed under the direct supervision of an ISA Certified Arborist. Some of the most popular City of Irvine trees are pines, sycamore, sweetgum, Crape Myrtle, and ficus.     

Note: Orange County cities that have been on the list even longer than Irvine are Fullerton (32 years), Anaheim (29 years), Orange (24 years), and Cypress (24 years). Newport Beach ties with 23 years. Other Orange County cities on the Tree City USA list are Tustin (17 years), La Habra (15 years), Santa Ana (14 years), Huntington Beach (11 years)?, and Laguna Hills (7 years). The cities in California that have been on the Tree City USA list longest are Burbank and Sacramento (36 years each).—Arbor Day Foundation

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