Cal Heights ReLeaf – Planting & Nurturing Our Local Trees
We are neighborhood volunteers dedicated to the care of our parkway trees and the replanting of those areas in our parkways where trees are missing. Historically, our neighborhood has been blessed with trees lining our avenues, yet not all of our trees have survived the test of time. We believe that one way of preserving the past is by planting the future. We invite you to help us ReLeaf California Heights.
Why is it important to ReLeaf Cal Heights?
- To increase home values
- To improve air quality
- To decrease heating and cooling costs
- To restore the historic character of our neighborhood
- Tree plantings foster community spirit and camaraderie
Cal Heights ReLeaf Meetings are held on an as-needed basis, for meeting dates please visit this page for details. Our meetings are open. Everyone is welcome to attend, provide input, and learn about our efforts and activities. We are active in fundraising, planning for planting events, tree care, building public awareness and education.
If you don’t have time to volunteer, financial assistance is greatly appreciated. We are a free source of information and assistance about tree planting and care. Check this page for future opportunities to help with ReLeaf efforts.
Facts about our parkways and trees
Parkways and parkway trees are city property. It is illegal to cut down or plant a parkway tree without permission from the City of Long Beach. Only approved tree species may be planted in city parkways and only at locations approved by the City of Long Beach Department of Public Works. Approved planting methods must be used to prevent damage to utilities and sidewalks.
Please visit the City of Long Beach Street Tree link for complete information on our municipal street tree policy, including planting guidelines, approved species lists and downloadable no fee permits to plant street trees, or contact Jerry Rowland, Long Beach City Arborist, at (562) 570-2731.
Most modern neighborhoods have been planned without parkways and will never have the opportunity to create the environment and charm of California Heights. Together we can make our neighborhood even better!
Proper Tree Care
Proper tree care can make a surprising difference in the growth of our street trees. We have ReLeaf trees that were planted just three years ago that are two-three times the size of others that were planted six years ago!
Why? Occasional deep soaks (once every four to six weeks in summer) and keeping weed whackers at bay by asking your gardener to maintain a turf free area around the base are the main reasons some trees flourish where others languish or fail. In fact, the weed whacker, not lack of water, accounts for the majority of young tree failures, and can even affect the health of mature trees. Weed whackers wear aware the tender young bark that protects the vital networks that carry water and nutrients from the roots to the tree’s canopy. If those tissues are severed, the tree starves to death.
The photos below reveal the issue. Less than one year separated these Muskogee crape myrtle trees when the first two photos were taken. The third photo is a close up of the first tree’s trunk, nearly whittled away by weed trimmer and lawn mower damage. The fourth photo shows how another homeowner ensured that her tree would remain healthy. By maintaining a grass-free area around her tree, she kept damage to a minimum and ensured that thirsty weeds and grasses didn’t compete with her young tree for water and nutrients. Indeed, it’s a healthy mature tree today! If your young tree’s trunk looks like the last photo, now you know why it struggles to survive even with adequate moisture.