Employees from Sutter Health showed up at the Lake Herman Open Space project on April 20 to celebrate Earth Day 2023. These volunteers completed maintenance work on 40 native trees in the 125-tree open space project. Bio-degradable cloth weedblock effectively minimizes weeds around the trees, so a 2ft-square sheet of weedblock was added to trees where needed.
This maintenance occurred in an area that had five locations where seeds for Quercus agrifolia (Coast live oak) and Aesculus californica (Buckeye) were planted this winter. Three locations have germinated. It is early and perhaps the remaining locations will sprout by May.
The oldest trees, planted in 2015, were bursting with new growth fueled by this winter’s rains. The trees have struggled with drought conditions since planted and have taken to the moisture quickly. A couple of trees outgrew their protective hardware cloth caging and were replaced with larger cages for deer protection.
The rains resurrected one Quercus lobata (Valley oak) which was a dead stick last year. Now the stump is sprouting ten new branches.
The next tree care day for this project will be April 27 when the Benicia Tree Foundation hopes to complete maintenance work on the remaining project trees in this open space. Click here to register.
The following are photos from the Earth Day event.
Volunteers respond to the photographer’s request to loosen up.
Volunteers stand by a Aesculus californica sapling
Volunteers stand by a Quercus lobata sapling
Quercus agrifolia sapling transitioned to a new cage to protect it from deer.
Volunteers work on a Quercus agrifolia.
Sprouting acorn planted this winter.
Sisyrinchium bellum (Blue-eyed grass) was blooming everywhere.
Valley oak stump found sprouting.