How to Water Our Trees During the Drought

MoretonBay1_MStephens

We live in a beautiful Mediterranean climate. Southern California is actually one of only five regions in the world with this climate – cool, wet winters and warm to hot, dry summers. But of those five, ours is the driest. Fortunately, our native plants have evolved to thrive here; they expect to get their moisture for the entire year from late fall to early spring.

Except not this year. This is the driest year on record, and even our native trees and shrubs are dying in the wild lands.… Read more >>

Start the New Year by Chipping Your Tree

Pine Tree

With the New Year comes lots of good intentions. Why not start with how you dispose of your holiday tree? If you’ve been thinking about trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle, you can look no further than your living room and that post-Christmas—or whatever holiday you celebrated—tree.

Rather than haul it out for the garbage collector, the best thing to do with your holiday tree is to mulch it. Chipping up your tree is a great way to create healthy, organic matter that is ideal to put on top of the soil—similar to what happens to dead trees in a natural forest.… Read more >>

Taking on the Tyranny of Turf

Tyranny of Turf

It’s lining up to be another dry winter, with water reserves at worryingly low levels. So what’s with L.A.’s obsession with expansive green lawns? How did this landscape ideal, imported from rainy Northern Europe, come to mean the good life in water-scarce Los Angeles? Can we keep it up, or is there a better way? Is the better way possibly even more beautiful?

On Sunday, November 17 at 3pm, TreePeople will partner with the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West to answer some of these questions.… Read more >>

Meet Nicole Liner-Jigamian—TreePeople’s New Volunteer Manager

Nicole Liner-Jigamian

By now I have met many of TreePeople’s wonderful supporters over e-mail or in-person. But in case I haven’t met you yet, I will take this opportunity to introduce myself. Before beginning this position I was eager to see what this organization and its 10,000 annual volunteers had in store for me. After a very mulchy first month full of forestry events, countless trees pruned, and one incredibly successful Harvest Moon Gala, I know that I planted my roots in the right place.… Read more >>

The Real Eco Choice for Southwest Landscapes

Is the summer heat leaving you feeling a bit parched? Perhaps your landscaping is thirsty, too? If so, you’re not alone. People all over the southwestern United States are realizing that our traditional green lawn landscapes are more difficult and expensive to keep watered in hot, dry years like this one. So much so that cities are actually paying residents to rip-up their grass and replace it with climate-appropriate plants.

No matter where you stand on the aesthetics of the issue, the fact is that losing the lawn allows cities to reduce water consumption—amazingly, by up to a third—even while the population grows.… Read more >>

Abuzz About the Power of Parkways!

Up until recently, many Angelinos didn’t even know what a parkway was. Often called a planting strip, median, nature space or tree lawn—people were confused about what to call it, much less what to do with this section of our cityscape.

Now all that’s changed. One little LA Times column by Steve Lopez, lots of work from Los Angeles City Councilmember Herb Wesson, the dedication of groups like LA Green Grounds, the Urban Ag Working Group, Farmscape, the LA Garden Council, Root Down LA, Los Angeles Community Action Network, Hunger Action Los Angeles, the Wynbrandt Farm, Community Health Councils, St.… Read more >>

Head Up to the Mountains with TreePeople: Thirsty Seedlings Need Our Help

Photo by David Cassell

Seedlings are growing and thriving at Chilao Flats in the Angeles National Forest thanks to hundreds of TreePeople volunteers who planted them earlier this year. This is an important and beloved mountain area that was devastated by the 2009 Station Fire, and we’re helping bring the forest back for all who depend on it.

Volunteers are needed to give these young trees the water and mulch they need to survive the hot, dry summer. Sign-up for Angeles Forest Restoration on August 24.… Read more >>

The Real Truth About Fake Grass

grass

True or false? Artificial turf or “fake grass” is a great alternative to traditional lawns for water-scarce Los Angeles.

It needs no water, requires basically no maintenance, and is often billed as an eco-friendly choice because it is made from things like recycled tires. Seems like a no-brainer, but fake grass is not a good choice if your goal is a sustainable landscape. Here’s why.

Like many fake things, its beauty is only skin deep. The goal of an eco-friendly choice is a thriving eco-system.… Read more >>

Words of Praise from a Conservation Leader

SMMtsRestoration_AGuglielmi_IMG_6445_crop

At TreePeople we’re all about partnerships. From the U.S. Forest Service to the Mountains Restoration Trust to the Social Justice Learning Institute to city and county government agencies, professionals and organizations give us reasons every day to stand in awe of the individuals and groups willing to work together toward improving the health of our trees and local environment.

When those we admire laud us in return, it always gives us a boost! Meet Rosi Dagit, a well-known biologist and certified arborist with the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains. Rosi’s conservation projects reach from Malibu Lagoon to Antarctica and benefit mountains, oceans, sea life, and people living at the wildland-urban interface.… Read more >>

Fruit Trees Go Public

Photo: Vahagn Karapetyan

You’ll have read about and possibly visited the public park orchard planted at Del Aire Park that opened last fall. It’s a Los Angeles County Arts Commission-sponsored project of the artist group Fallen Fruit, famous locally for their neighborhood maps of fruit-bearing trees accessible in public rights of way and the “fruit jams” they hold in L.A. museums and galleries. Like artist Fritz Haeg’s Edible Estates, the Del Aire Fruit Tree Park acquaints the neighborhood with the notion of growing food in front, where everyone can see it and, better, eat it.… Read more >>