Two meetings set for San Diego residents to discuss Urban Forestry Plan

By Karen Billing

The city of San Diego is developing an Urban Forestry Plan and is looking for community input on how people feel about the trees in their neighborhoods:

Is there enough foliage? Do the trees drop too many leaves? Are the roots cracking the pavement?

Would you support a fee or tax for tree care?

The city has received a $75,000 planning grant from California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to complete its management plan, and the Community Forestry Advisory Board has been doing public outreach throughout San Diego, targeting a draft plan by 2015.

Rachele Melious, a member of the advisory board, visited the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board on July 24.

Melious said having a healthy tree canopy in the city can provide many benefits. Trees not only make neighborhoods and business districts more pleasant, but their shade can help lower energy bills. The leaves also clean the air by absorbing pollutants, and they reduce greenhouse gases and urban heat.

“Trees need quality planting and care. It’s about the right tree for the right place,” Melious said, noting that a good management plan involves water, evaluation, removal, replacement and more. “It’s a long and complicated process. If you do it right in the beginning, it helps a lot.”

Two community outreach meetings will be held this year for residents to provide input on the plan. The first is at 6 p.m. Sept. 22 at University Town Center Forum Hall; the second is at 6 p.m. Sept. 29 at Balboa Park’s War Memorial Building.

The advisory board aims for the plan to be adopted by the City Council in spring 2015.

To provide input via an online survey, visit