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Arbor Day 2021 Held at Benicia Library

On October 23rd, 17 volunteers planted 8 trees and spread piles of mulch.

The Arbor Day event was jointly sponsored by the City of Benicia and the Benicia Tree Foundation.  Annual Arbor Day events are one of the requirements of the National Arbor Day Foundation for city’s to maintain their Tree City USA designation.  Benicia has been a Tree City USA for twelve years.

The event began with a safety briefing, followed by tree planting demonstration by the City’s Superintendent for Park and Building Maintenance, Theron Jones, using a Chinese pistache tree ( Pistacia chinensis).  Theron explained that the City likes Chinese pistache because of their fall color, they can survive on rainfall alone once  they become established, they can tolerate wind and have few pests.  The City choose a male variety so it would not produce seed clusters that can be a nuisance and require more maintenance.  Theron said it important to select a location that can accommodate a tree of this size, which grows to be quite large at maturity.  

The other tree species selected for the project was Marina Madrone (Arbutus marina), which grows more slowly than the Chinese pistache and is not as large at maturity.  Marina Madrone is evergreen and has attractive red bark.  These trees will be planted around the library’s back patio and will help shield the area from the adjacent road noise.

After the tree planting demonstration, volunteers paired-up and quickly planted and staked the trees.  After the trees were planted, the volunteers directed their efforts to the large piles of mulch that the City had dumped the previous day.  Volunteers use wheelbarrows and bow rakes to spread the mulch to a 4″-6″ depth in the planter beds.  Mulch helps retain moisture in the soil and suppresses weed growth.

This Arbor Day event was the second tree planting project for the library this year.  In January, the Benicia Tree Foundation organized volunteers to plant 8 trees to replace trees that were removed the year before.  Click here to read more about that event.