Update on Trees at Lake Herman Open Space

April 7, 2020

Volunteers worked through this winter to expand the tree planting in the Lake Herman Open Space.  During the course of five Tree Care Days, 44 volunteers planted acorns at 66 new locations.  But that is not all.  These volunteers also weeded and mulched over 70 trees planted earlier in this open space. 

About 40 of these trees are survivors from an initial planting in 2015, when the City gave the Benicia Tree Foundation permission to proceed with a pilot project to plant trees in the open space.  100 oak and buckeye saplings were planted at that time.

In 2017, a plague of voles ate about half of the trees from the pilot project.  These lost trees were replaced the following year with acorns and buckeye seeds planted in new vole-proof tree cages. The City also installed an owl box to encourage owls to reduce future vole populations.

Based on the success of the pilot project, the Park, Recreation & Cemetery Commission opened up other areas of the open space to tree planting, with input from the Fire Department on desired tree spacing.  Some of these new areas were planted this winter.  Approximatley 135 locations in the open space are now planted with oaks and buckeyes.  More planting is planned for next winter.

December 2019 Tree Care Day at Lake Herman

Volunteers for the December 12, 2019 Tree Care Day stand behind a live oak tree which was planted in 2015.  The tree is mulched with straw to keep down weeds and retain soil moisture.


January 2020 Tree Care Day at Lake Herman

Volunteers for a January 2020 Tree Care Day at Lake Herman Open Space learn how to plant an acorn.


January 2020 Tree Care Day at Lake Herman

Volunteers plant acorns in a new area of the open space planned for trees.


Volunteers for January 2020 Tree Care Day

Volunteers who participated in the Tree Care Day on January 25th at Lake Herman Open Space.


February 1 Tree Care Day at Lake Herman

Volunteers for the final acorn planting session of the season at the February 1 Tree Care Day.