Letters to the Editor

Tree Fresno replenishes the urban forest

When I am out in the community wearing my Tree Fresno T-shirt or mention my work, I am happy to receive the overflowing praise about the accomplishments of this small nonprofit organization. I have heard from multiple Fresno residents, "I remember Fresno before Tree Fresno," and I try to imagine this area without the 33,000 plus trees planted over the last 20-plus years.

The trees improve air quality, provide shade, moderate temperatures, decrease and filter storm runoff, reduce energy costs, raise property values and improve the quality of life for Fresno residents. The improved livability in Fresno due to our efforts attracts new residents, new businesses and slows the "brain drain" of this area by encouraging graduates to stay local.

After trees have been in the ground for 20 years, it is easier to see which trees are most appropriate for inner-city tree-wells, parks or schools. We learn more each year and recommend trees with less invasive roots or suggest improved planting methods that include the use of root barriers and deep watering of young trees to discourage surface roots.

Each area has different requirements and we try our best to accommodate the stakeholders for each project. I believe the value of these trees to our community is so great that they should also be accommodated by us.

Tree Fresno will continue to respond to the call of residents, school children and park users to expand the urban forest and enjoy the benefits of trees in our community. We invite you to join us and check out our Web site: www.treefresno.org.

Sharon Kelly

Projects Director

Tree Fresno