Trees Take Center Stage

October 11, 2011

Benicia Arbor Week includes Tree City ceremony, study of inventory, master plan

By Donna Beth Weilenman, Staff Reporter for the Benicia Herald

In events that begin Tuesday with looks at the city’s tree inventory and its tree master plan, residents and officials alike will celebrate trees during Benicia Arbor Week.

Activities this week include posting a Tree City USA sign and planting a strawberry tree — a drought- and fire-resistant species — that secures Benicia’s status as a Tree City for the third straight year, said Rick Knight, Parks and Community Services superintendent.

The celebration will peak Saturday with community activities in City Park, home of the city’s first heritage tree, a venerable oak.

“Arbor Week is part of Benicia’s nationally recognized, award-winning tree program,” Knight said.

Others have noted that Benicians have loved and planted trees for several generations, even if the city instituted its Arbor Day celebration just three years ago.

The celebration is a collaboration of both the city of Benicia and the Benicia Tree Foundation, Knight said.

Residents can learn at 6 p.m. today about the city’s tree inventory, as well as get a preview of Benicia’s Tree Master Plan, presented by West Coast Arborists, an Anaheim-based tree care corporation. The presentation will take place in the Benicia Community Center.

Residents will help install the Tree City USA sign Wednesday on Military West between West K Street and Southampton Road.

Benicia’s Scouts will participate Thursday in planting the strawberry tree, designated as the tree that will allow the city to qualify as a Tree City USA. That tree will be planted at Benicia Community Park at Rose and Dempsey drives.

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