Tree City USA
Tree City USA began in 1976 as a Bicentennial project, with 42 communities becoming Tree Cities that year. Today, communities in the program range in size from Calvin, North Dakota, population 26, to Los Angeles, with more than 3.2 million people. The City of Diamond Bar has proudly been named a Tree City USA since 2000. When a community becomes a Tree City USA, it means more than being able to display a road sign or fly the flag.
Tree City USA is a foundation for effective, well-organized tree care programs. At least half of the trees in a typical city are on public property; along streets, in parks, and around public buildings. The Tree City USA program is designed to recognize those communities that effectively manage their public tree resources, and to encourage the continuation of community tree management based on Tree City USA standards. To become a Tree City USA, a community must have a tree board or department, a community tree ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program, and an Arbor Day proclamation and observance.
National Arbor Day
National Arbor Day is celebrated the last Friday in April, but state observances vary depending on the best tree-planting weather in their region. California celebrates Arbor Week in March of each year. The Diamond Bar City Council proclaimed March 9th as Arbor Day in Diamond Bar.
The Value of Urban Forests
The community urban forest is the City of Diamond Bar’s largest, most visible, and one of its most important natural resources. The Public Works and Community Services Division maintain over 10,000 parkway trees throughout the city. Both environmentally and aesthetically, trees make the City of Diamond Bar a better place to live.
- Trees impart a distinctive character and identity to the City, its various neighborhoods, and its hillsides. To come home to a green and shaded community establishes a deep sense of place. Trees establish visual harmony and continuity along the City’s streets. The experience of driving, which is a large part of the “Southern California” experience, is immeasurably more pleasant along tree-lined streets.
- Trees enrich the aesthetics of the City, adding pleasing shapes, colors, fragrance, texture, and seasonal change. The beauty, which trees add to any landscape, is especially treasured in urban settings, where they soften and screen urban development.
- Trees provide shade and help cool the city, reducing energy costs and consumption. During the summer a shade tree may prevent 80 to 90% of the sun’s rays from hitting the ground. The daily moisture transpired from one large tree can have the cooling effect of five average room air conditioners running 20 hours a day. Click here for energy saving tips from Southern California Edison.
- Trees moderate wind. The funneling of wind by city buildings and its strength over large paved areas can be partially broken by trees. Trees help to diffuse noise. Dense foliage helps break up the sound waves from traffic and other noise sources.
- Trees provide oxygen and filter airborne particulates, helping to reduce air pollution. They can help reduce soil erosion and surface runoff, leading to a steadier and cleaner supply of water. Trees protect soil by breaking the fall of raindrops and absorbing water through their roots. They provide habitat for birds and other wildlife. For example, a single oak can provide a home and food for as many as 300 species of insects, which in turn provide food for birds.
- Trees enhance civic pride and involvement. Tree planting programs, such as Arbor Day allow residents to participate in creating a city of which they can be proud.