Benicia Housing Authority

In 2014, Benicia Housing Authority (Authority) agreed to work with the Benicia Tree Foundation to develop a tree planting project for their Capitol Heights residential complex.  This eight acre site was developed in the 1940's to accommodate 75 households.  Half the site is equipped with a water meter paid by the Authority and is richly landscaped.  The other half of the site has sparse landscaping because it relies on water supplied by the residents.  The Authority and the Benicia Tree Foundation developed a tree planting project to meet the following criteria.

  • Protect  existing views of the water and Mount Diablo;
  • Grow on rainfall alone after the two-year establishment period;
  • Minimize tree litter that could present a hazard to pedestrians (e.g. seed pods); and
  • Minimize the amount to pruning needed as the tree matures.
The resulting tree palette included Chinese pistache (Pistacia chinensis) "Keith Davey" a fruitless variety, Maidenhair Tree (Ginkgo biloba) a male or fruitless variety was specified, and Incense cedar (Cedrus decurrens).  A Coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia) was also specified for a large open space area.  On November 13, 2015, volunteers from the nearby Heritage Presbyterian Church and Capitol Heights residents planted 31 trees with the assistance of Authority maintenance staff.
Supplemental water for the trees ended in August 2018.  The Benicia Tree Foundation scheuduled a Third Thursday Tree Care Day on February 20, 2020 and found 29 of the trees still growing.  Click here for an update.
Volunteer planting Incense cedar at Capitol Heights.
A volunteer plants an Incense cedar tree at Benicia Housing Authority's Capitol Heights development.