Trees in a Nutshell

tip of the month – November 2011


Walking the streets throughout our community, it would appear that most of our neighbors have embraced the ‘Plant A Tree, Save Our Planet’ campaign.  Since we are graced by so many mature trees perhaps we should credit the original ‘developers’ for planting the various species that shelter our yards – but no matter the origin we all benefit from their existence in our community.

Trees located strategically on a property can reduce the need for air conditioning within our homes and office buildings by thirty percent.  Trees absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from our air helping to reduce pollution.  In fact, the USDA Forest Service has stated that one mature tree can remove up to 48lbs. of COdaily and also generate enough oxygen to support the needs of two human beings.  The same study stated that over a 50-year lifetime, a tree generates over $31,000 worth of oxygen and provides $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycles $37,500 worth of water and controls $31,250 worth of soil erosion.  That kind of savings could turn any of us into a tree lover!  And no, I have never hugged a tree, but I do think we should show a little love and care for our trees.

With so many mature trees in our community – to get an idea of how many mature tree there are count the number of trees over 25 ft. on your block – it’s worth it to learn how your trees grow and how you can keep them healthy.  Hint: it’s not by topping a trees’ canopy!  Learning some basics about tree care such as soil-water relations, nutrition and when to prune will make for happy working trees for years to come.

Thinking of your trees as family pets may further help you appreciate and protect the value of your trees.  Remember it takes a lot of years for most trees to reach 25 or 30 ft.  If you wouldn’t adopt a pet without finding a doctor to care for your ‘Spike’ or ‘Bella’, perhaps you shouldn’t grow a tree without finding a good arborist.

A certified arborist will guide you on tree species and placement for new trees, but also maintain your current trees.  Whether it’s making the masterful pruning cut to guide your tree to a shapely form or trimming roots without sacrificing major water uptake and years of its life, an arborist can guide you on decisions that will protect your investment.

Join Sustainable Danville Area for our November forum on Wednesday, November 16th at 6:15pm.  We’ll meet in Room S3 in the Administrative Building (upstairs) at San Ramon Valley High School 501 Danville Blvd.  Our speaker, John Traverso, a certified arborist since 1986 and owner of Traverso Tree, has served as vice president and president of the California Arborist Association and will share his experience to help us understand our “Trees in a Nutshell”.  The evening’s discussion is Free and all are invited, but to help with planning purposes, please register at

Reprinted with permission from Danville Today News


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