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Boosted Funding, New Forester To Help San Diego Meet Its Tree Planting Goal

Clouds over San Diego State University, Feb. 17, 2017.

Photo by KPBS

Above: Clouds over San Diego State University, Feb. 17, 2017.

Boosted Funding, New Forester To Help San Diego Meet Its Tree Planting Goal


GUESTS:

Brian Widener, forester, City of San Diego

Robin Rivet, arborist

Transcript

San Diego's recently installed forester says his department has an additional $300,000 in funding to plant new trees, as the city moves towards its goal of 15 percent canopy cover by 2020.

San Diego's recently installed forester says his department has an additional $300,000 in funding to plant new trees, as the city moves towards its goal of 15 percent canopy cover by 2020.

That brings the city's annual tree planting budget to $400,000, according to Brian Widener, who took over the post in September after a months-long vacancy. There is additional money to maintain the city's existing trees. San Diego currently has about 13 percent urban tree canopy coverage and wants to have at least 35 percent coverage by 2035. Those goals are one of several components in the city's Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

RELATED: San Diego Adopts Urban Forestry Program With No Manager

The funding helps pay for new trees on public sidewalks, which residents can request for free, as long as they promise to water the tree for three years. People can choose from a list of trees the city will provide, and while palms are on the list, they are not the city's first choice in most situations.

"We would prefer to plant broad-leaf or shade trees, as opposed to palm trees," Widener said. "Shade trees provide more benefits to us in the long-term."

Widener and arborist Robin Rivet join KPBS Midday Edition on Friday with more details on what kinds of trees are best suited for San Diego and its climate plan, and how to take care of them.

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