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By Joe Naiman
Village News Correspondent 

Supervisors approve contracts for new trees at county parks


Last updated 1/19/2018 at 2:39pm

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors authorized the advertisement for bid and subsequent issuance of contracts to plant new trees at county parks.

The supervisors voted 4-0, Jan. 10, with Greg Cox at a National Association of Counties meeting, to implement a proposed Comprehensive Tree Program. The program will remove and replaced dead and weakened trees and will install direct watering systems in parks which have had significant tree canopy loss.

“Years of drought and invasive insects have taken a toll on our local tree population,” Supervisor Bill Horn said. “Large and small trees will be planted to diversify the natural tree canopies in our parks and along 350 miles of multi-use trails.”

The county’s Department of Parks and Recreation manages approximately 50,000 acres at more than 125 locations throughout the county and also has management responsibility for more than 350 miles of multi-use trails. Trees in the county park system increase the desirability of parks both aesthetically and by serving as climate buffers which moderate temperature and moisture to make parks more comfortable.

The Comprehensive Tree Program will add large trees to parks which have had tree loss due to drought and infestation by wood-boring insects and will also plant of thousands of smaller trees to diversify the natural tree canopy throughout the park system. The diversification of tree species within a park will reduce the risk of subsequent catastrophic loss due to insect or disease infestation since many pests and diseases are limited to certain species of trees and have a limited host species range.

The removal of diseased trees will include tub grinding to ensure that the pests are eliminated and cannot move to other locations in the county. The purchase of 48-inch and 60-inch boxed trees will allow for quicker replacement of the removed trees.

Only dead, dying and diseased trees will be removed. If minor excavation is required to remove or plant a tree that ground will be backfilled and restored.

The county has budgeted $2,000,000 of general fund revenue for the current Comprehensive Tree Program contract. The Department of Parks and Recreation will partner with local nonprofit, service and volunteer organizations to plant trees and also to connect residents with nature. The Comprehensive Tree Program is expected to continue in future years.

The tree planting under the current Comprehensive Tree Program authorization is expected to begin April 2018 and be complete by spring 2019.


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