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March 2023 Tree Care Day at Benicia High

Students challenged rain to maintain trees.  Saturday’s 50% chance of rain forecast did not deter seven students from showing up at 9am for our first 2nd Saturday Tree Care Day in 2023 at Benicia High.  Conditions were good on the hillside above the upper parking lot to check on a group of oak trees that have been planted over the past 10 years. 

The ground surrounding all the trees were cleared of weeds.  Some trees needed repair of their protective cages.  Cages are used to protect trees from goats that are occasionally used to control the vegetation on campus open spaces.    Some trees had outgrown their cages and needed either larger cages or were big enough to go cageless.   Steven Goetz, Benicia Tree Foundation Board member, gave a quick pruning demonstration on several trees that were caught up in their cages.  Basic principles of removing dead wood, cross branches and structural pruning were reviewed.

By 10:15 the rain started, and got heavy pretty quickly.  The volunteers collected their hand tools and sought protection under the parking lot solar panels, but not before everyone was pretty soggy. 

The last Tree Care Day at Benicia High was in April 2022.  The trees had survived  the long dry summer and seemed to be growing well.  The rains has stimulated alot of new growth on the Coast live oaks.  The Valley oaks were still mostly dormant.

At least one more Tree Care Day will be scheduled at Benicia High this spring to check the rest of the trees that Benicia Tree Foundation has planted on campus.


Volunteers found several salamanders while working on the trees.
Close-up of the salamander.