Branching Out Newsletter

Letter from the Executive Director

Dear Yolo County residents and tree enthusiasts near and far...

The beginning of the holiday season reminds us all to take a moment and reflect on what we’re truly thankful for.

I’m writing today with my own message of thanks to YOU for your personal commitment to bringing the numerous benefits of urban trees to our local neighborhoods, parks, and schools! Whether you have volunteered at our events, donated to our mission, or honored a loved one with a tribute tree, you’ve played an integral part in our work to enhance and expand our regions’ urban forests.

Tree Davis is so much more than just our hardworking staff and board – we are individuals, neighborhood groups, partner organizations, and entire communities pulling together to make lasting, positive changes in our natural resources where we live, work and play!

We have many exciting developments to share with you regarding our board and the important work we are accomplishing in each of our three project areas: the Cities of Davis, West Sacramento, and Woodland. Please read on to learn how we are working directly with residents, families, students, service groups and municipal leaders in making our community a green, healthy and beautiful place to call home!

On behalf of all of us at Tree Davis, I hope that you and your loved ones enjoy a joyous holiday season and a healthy and prosperous New Year.

With sincere gratitude,
Erin Donley Marineau
Executive Director

City of Davis Updates

Introducing our new free tree give away program in partnership with the City of Davis: Community Canopy! This summer, the City of Davis received a Prop-68 funded $ 514,116 grant from CalFire that runs until March of 2022 that will enable the City to plant 1,000 new trees and develop a 40-year Urban Forest Management Plan. Tree Davis is implementing the tree planting portion of this grant, and we’re happy to report that the Community Canopy program is off to a great start! We hosted our first community tree planting event on Saturday, October 5th, where we planted 33 trees with the help of community members, as well as UC Davis and Davis Senior High School volunteers.

Thirteen trees were planted at Korematsu Elementary, where canopy coverage has been lacking for some time. Scientific literature tells us that the presence of trees has many valuable social, environmental and economic benefits. These benefits are especially valuable on school campuses where trees provide shady spaces for children to play and spend time outside. We look forward to working with DJUSD at future events to plant more trees at Davis’ public schools over the next couple of years. 

In November, we hosted our second community tree planting event where we coordinated with the Old East Davis Neighborhood Association to plant trees in front yard easements and planting strips. For many years, this downtown neighborhood has experienced a net canopy loss due to the removal of aging trees. This has been a wonderful opportunity to partner with a local community group that is committed to stewarding a new generation of trees to increase local canopy cover. The rest of the year will continue to be busy for the Community Canopy program. We will continue planting trees within the easements of private residences and public spaces. Through March 2022, the Community Canopy program will continue hosting tree planting events every month throughout the city. Please visit our website if you are interested in receiving a free tree or joining us as a volunteer! The experience is fun, rewarding and we are so grateful for your help!

Additionally, we have been partnering with the City of Davis, Open Space Division to build a trail that is Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-accessible at the new North Davis Uplands Habitat. The project is taking place on three acres of City-owned, vacant land at the corner of F Street and Anderson Road. The area will soon be transformed into a new wildlife habitat area. It will feature native plants, walking paths, natural seating areas, pond overlook areas, and interpretive panels. The Open Space Division is striving to provide more habitat restoration projects within the city limits using money generated by the City’s open space protection parcel tax. We will also be planting trees at the new North Davis Uplands Habitat in the winter and spring. Please join us and be part of the transformation of this site to a valuable wildlife habitat!

Trees for Tomorrow,

City of West Sacramento Updates

So far in 2019, we have planted 290 trees in West Sacramento through our Trees for Tomorrow project, a CALFIRE Urban and Community Forestry, Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund grant. These trees were mostly planted at private residences in disadvantaged communities and will provide shade, clean air, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions to this city for generations to come. We partnered with Sacramento State University students for our final public planting on November 2nd at Alyce Norman Park, where we planted eleven Trident Maples.

The grant for this project began in 2015, and after four years, this December we will have completed our goal of planting 1,000 trees in West Sacramento! This was done by partnering with City officials, schools, Yolo County Office of Education, West Coast Arborists, community groups and private residents to see the project to completion. It has truly been a group effort! We have also monitored every tree we have planted in part of our project and pruned/maintained as many trees on private property as homeowners would permit. Our staff has worked very hard on this project over the past four years and we are very proud of the lasting positive impact it will have on air and water quality, surface temperatures, jobs and wellness in this historically under-served community.

Woodland Tree Foundation,

City of Woodland Updates

Tree Davis continues to partner with the Woodland Tree Foundation and the City of Woodland on the Neighborhood Shade Tree Program– a grant also made possible by a CALFIRE Urban and Community Forestry, Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. To date, we have planted 1,122  trees in Woodland, with 461 of those trees planted in 2019 alone. We are committed to planting 1,200 trees by March of 2020 and are quickly closing in on that goal. In addition to the final few plantings, we are beginning to monitoring the health of the trees that have been planted to determine the mortality rate and to replace any trees that have died. This partnership has been an exciting collaboration for Tree Davis over the past couple of years and we are very pleased to be working alongside the Woodland Tree Foundation board members and City of Woodland staff to keep bringing the benefits of urban forests to Woodland communities!

Help Keep Davis Green, Clean, & Cool!

We are deeply grateful to all of our members and supporters who have made donations to Tree Davis this last year! Your donations are central to our operations—keeping Yolo County clean, green and cool. Please make a donation today to bolster Tree Davis' community programs.

Oak Leaf Partners:

Amy Klette Newman Foundation
Lois and Bruce Wolk
Kelly and Alexander Harcourt
Jacques and Galia Franco
David Robinson
Emily Griswold
Bob & Connie Washino
Alan, Rebecca, and Vera Sandronsky-Hirsch
Unitarian Universalist Church
Susan Ellis
Aspen Pest Management

All Donors:

Dean Simonton
Jule Bosano
Gerald Dickinson
Marty West
Elizabeth Gemellaro
Walter Kopp
Mary Kaltenbach
Mary Ann and Victor Jung
Emily Kleber
Sheila Cordrey
Katherine Lauer
Thomas and Rebekah Gilpin
Paul and Linda Baumann
Judith Schreider
David Everitt
Debrah Taylor
Beulah and Ezra Amsterdam
Andy Gagnon Landscaping, Inc.
Greg and Adair McPherson
Maynard Skinner
Jennifer Lane
Dale and Jane Wierman
Doug & Elaine Kent
Dave Fujino and Sarah Schrupp
Betty Berteaux
Julia Jones
Steve Stombler
Rose Marie Tresp
Lindsey Young
Clyde and Peggy Froehlich
Deedra Johnson
Bruce & Susan De Terra
Robert and Judy Ann Donley
Lynne Nittler
Lynn Terleski-Katz
Mylon Marshall
Elizabeth Lasensky
Richard McCann
Anne Brunette and family
Martha Ozonoff and Doug Krause
Melissa Borrelli
Barbara Zadra and Kent Bradford
David Haggerty
Lucas & Stacie Frerichs
Carrie Shaw
Marissa Eng
Rita Samartino
Petrea Ruth Marchand
Erin Donley Marineau
Diane Swann
Dawn Calciano
Ashley Hill

James Wellington
Amy Williams
Zarah Wyly
Anya Clasen
Ann Dilner
Steve Streeter
Jacqueline Ames
Carla Knee
Claudia Krich
Greg and Nan Gorder
Judith Moores
Ann and Quin Denvir
Carol Meredith
Margaret Algazi
Richard Plant
Don Saylor
George Galamba
James Simpson
Peter and Linda Lindert
Judith Wydick
Dick & Carol Bourne
Daniel & Jana D'Orazio Pinkerton
Jim and Katherine West
Colin & Michelle Cameron
Robert Harless
Don and Elizabeth Abbott
Susan and Kent Calfee
Larry Guenther
Louise Conrad
Sarah Ferren-Cirino
Cathy White
Sherman and Hannah Stein
Elizabeth Capell
Kristen Weeks-Norton
Nancy Hiestand
Bill & Nancy Roe
Richard and Joy Dorf
Ron and Cheryl Jensen
Wendell Geis
Jeanie Sherwood
David Neale
Walter Sherwood
MAK Design + Build
Susan Handy
John Meyer
Lorraine Hwang
John Knight
Cynthia Gerber
Craig and Marcia Benham
Rebecca & Bruce Conrad
Carol La Russa
Diane Crumley
Why donate to Tree Davis?

Trees are beneficial to both individuals and communities. Those who spend time in the presence of trees are scientifically proven to enjoy better physical, mental and emotional health, as well as improved public safety and educational outcomes. Communities with more trees are also more likely to thrive economically because trees increase property values, encourage customers to spend more time in business districts, and provide jobs. We are working diligently to enhance and expand the urban forests of Yolo County, and by supporting Tree Davis you are also supporting all of these outcomes.

Make a Tree Tribute!

Trees are green gifts that last many lifetimes! Commemorate your loved ones or mark a special occasion in a way that will also give the gift of environmental health, beauty, and peace to your community by making a tree tribute donation. Tree tribute donations are tax-deductible and also provide long-lasting benefits of clean air, clean water, urban wildlife habitat, reduced energy costs, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Dedicating a tree is a unique and meaningful way to remember your loved ones and provide immense benefits to your community!

What Does my Donation Achieve?

$50- $100 helps us purchase one tree

$150 plants one tree with a tree stake and property owner orientation

$ 350 plants one tree and provides maintenance for the first five years

$ 1,000 will allow us to print a future edition of this newsletter

$2,000 will allow us to print educational materials (i.e., tree selection guides, downtown tree walk guides, etc. for 1,000 residents)

$10,000  Let’s set up a meeting to talk about how our programs align with your vision for a greener Yolo County! 

Give online (click the button below) or please send checks to:

Tree Davis
P.O. Box 72053
Davis, CA 95617

Donate Now!
Make a Tree Tribute!

Welcome to Our New Board Members!

We asked our new board members three questions as a way for the Tree Davis community to get to know them.

Don Shor

What is your professional background and how do you hope to get involved with Tree Davis activities?

I've had a lifelong interest in gardening. I grew up in San Diego but moved to Davis in the 1970s where I received a degree from UC Davis in Plant Science, and opened Redwood Barn Nursery in 1981. I have been a certified nursery professional and landscape contractor and served for over a decade on the state nursery association board of directors.

I also write a monthly column for the Davis Enterprise and do a weekly garden show (Davis Garden Show) at KDRT, 95.7 FM, here in Davis Thursdays at noon. I hope to help publicize and promote the many projects of Tree Davis and will be happy to interact with the public about questions and advice they need.

What is your favorite tree and why?

If the question is about an individual tree, it would be the massive Paradox walnut on my farm. Probably 80 – 90 years old, it has a canopy that I just paced off at 150 feet across and a trunk about 6 feet in diameter. I feel privileged to be its caretaker.

My favorite type of tree is probably the ginkgo. Its evolutionary tenacity is legendary, and as long as you plant a male tree it’s just about perfect. Well-mannered, pest-free, with beautiful fall color. Like oaks, ginkgo trees are great trees to plant for posterity.

Tree Davis' slogan is "planting trees, growing community." What kind of community growth would you like to see in our region?

I am concerned about the aging of the Davis urban forest. I would like to see neighborhood associations and civic groups get together to start replacing and rejuvenating their shares of the local tree population. Some species cohorts are dying out and need to be replaced. New solar neighborhoods need guidance and motivation to get those important big trees properly sited and planted where they can be allowed to reach their full potential. The public loves trees and wants information. Getting and establishing the right trees in the right places should be our goal here and in our neighboring communities.

Olga Levitsky

What is your professional background and how do you hope to get involved with Tree Davis activities?

My background is in content management and social engagement. I have held leadership roles in technology companies (most recently Salesforce, which spearheaded corporate community involvement for the industry), and have worked in non-profit and entrepreneurial settings. My hope is to help bring added visibility to the Tree Davis mission through optimized content and communication practices, and of course, partake in some “forest bathing” while planting and pruning some trees!

What is your favorite tree and why?

I love the silver birch. Growing up in Europe this was one of the most elegant trees I saw as a child. My family would often go hiking in the forest, and I was taught that if we ever ran out of drinking water, the trunk of the birch tree could be tapped to produce a sweet sap. This struck me as such a wonderful combination of beauty and utility.

Tree Davis' slogan is "planting trees, growing community." What kind of community growth would you like to see in our region?

I believe that engaging at a community level is the best way to drive larger-scale change. Throughout my life, I observed grassroots efforts have more impact than top-down pronouncements. Having spent time in all 50 states and 80+ countries, I can say with some conviction that trees and urban forests bring a certain calm that is very much needed throughout today’s hectic world. As such, my hope is to help Tree Davis bring out the Lorax in each of us to support the trees and, by extension, promote broader community well-being.

Board of Directors
David B. Robinson    Emily Griswold    Greg McPherson
Larry Guenther    Sarah Ferren-Cirino    Patrick Van Horne
Diane Crumley   Olga Levitsky    Richard Dye II    Don Shor

Great Tree Nominations Open Until End of 2019

We are calling on the residents of Davis to nominate Great Trees that grace the private and public landscapes.

Tree Davis began the Great Tree Search in 2018 to recognize unusual trees from around the world in Davis’ yards and public landscapes. Thus far 19 trees have received Great Tree status.

Fascinating stories on what made each tree special were captured in a series of Davis Enterprise articles that can be found at the Tree Davis website.

You can be part of the Great Tree Search by nominating a tree you love and appreciate because of its species, size, form, history, or any other characteristic. Readers can nominate trees by requesting a form from (530) 757-7337  or by downloading a form on the Tree Davis website below.

Some of the outcomes of the Great Tree Search include a bike tour, a self-guided walking tour, or a tour guided by Dr. Greg McPherson.


This project is made possible through support from the following Tree Davis sponsors:

F Street Dispensary, Symphony Financial Planning, and Davis Cannabis Collective.

Great Tree Search Nomination Form

Contact Us.

Email us at if you have any questions, or would like to get in touch. 

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Tree Davis
PO Box 72053
Davis, CA 95617

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