Trees are remarkable plants, arborists say. They use carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, thereby helping to clean our air. They cool our buildings, reducing energy consumption. They provide shelter for wildlife and psychological solace for the human spirit. And they ask very little from us in return. Provided, that is, we give some forethought to what and where we plant.
"If you define the conditions of the area where you want to plant and then select a tree that will thrive under those conditions, trees require very little maintenance," says arborist Alden Kelly, a member of Street Trees Seminar, a local professional association dedicated to the promotion of street trees and improvement of street tree management.
These resources can help in making an informed decision:
Street Trees Seminar: The organization has produced a chart of 65 trees classified by the area required for the root system. The chart includes information on the type of tree, shape, eventual size, soil requirements, growth rate, useful life span, potential problems, general availability, and more. It is available for $5, which includes postage and handling. Contact Al Remyn at (714) 532-0325.
Tree Society of Orange County: The society offers free two-hour seminars on the proper selection, planting and maintenance of trees at the Fullerton Arboretum the first three Saturdays of every month. The society also offers presentations on tree-related topics at locations throughout the county. Call (714) 449-7170 to make seminar reservations or obtain information on other events.