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Trees blossom at 9th and F Streets in Salida. Merrell Bergin photo

Salida is continuing to lose our urban tree canopy.

Particularly in the city rights-of-ways, our large shade trees are succumbing to drought, disease, old age, storm damage, and neglect. We are losing the environmental benefit of trees! Besides creating shade and beauty for our city, trees moderate the climate and reduce energy costs, improve air quality by absorbing pollutants and giving off oxygen, absorb carbon dioxide to moderate climate change, and provide food and homes to birds.

A street tree in front of a home also adds significantly to the home’s value. And if you travel frequently, planting and caring for a tree is a great way to offset your carbon footprint!

The Salida Tree Board is seeking homeowners who are interested in helping to replant and grow our urban forest and beautify our city by adopting a young street tree. The tree board will have a tree planted in the city right-of-way in front of the adopter’s home, and in return the homeowner must agree to regularly water the tree. The new tree will need to be watered daily when first planted, then weekly in the summer and monthly in the winter for the first three to five years.

The Tree Board will determine the suitability of the proposed planting site and in consultation with the homeowner will select an appropriate species. We can no longer plant large shade tree species in the rights-of-ways – we urge you to plant these in your front or back yard where there is ample space.

The adopted trees will be smaller flowering species or medium-sized shade tree species that will not create the sidewalks vs. trees issue that we have seen with the large Siberian elms and silver maples that were previously planted in the city rights-of-ways.

Tree adoption applications are available at the Salida Regional Library and at City Hall, 448 East First Street, or may be downloaded from the Tree Board page on the city website, then filled out and mailed back to the Tree Board.

Successful applicants are asked to contribute $50 towards the cost to plant and purchase the new tree. That contribution will be used to purchase and plant even more trees! For more information, contact the Salida Tree Board at 539-9195.