“Most holidays celebrate events in history by looking back. Arbor Day is an interesting holiday because it presumes not on the past, but on the future.” – Jimmie Webb, SDG&E Vegetation Management Operational Manager
Arbor Day is a nationally recognized holiday, commemorated on the last Friday of April each year, that celebrates the aesthetic and environmental benefits of trees. At SDG&E, we see trees as an essential investment in our future, which is why we aspire to plant and/or donate 10,000 trees each year. As a company servicing all of San Diego County and parts of Orange County, we recently joined our community and city partners to celebrate Arbor Day across our region.
Our employees and their families joined the City of San Diego for a special tree planting at Vacation Isle Park in Mission Bay. Over the course of a single morning, volunteers planted more than 60 trees, led by our team of certified arborists. These trees will diversify the monoculture of species in the area and expand tree canopy coverage, providing shade and cooling benefits to park visitors. As a team, we have helped the City of San Diego to plant more than 1,000 trees in their city over the past 18 months.
In addition to the Mission Bay event, our team has also been busy celebrating Arbor Day all month by donating trees and resources to Arbor Day celebrations in Lemon Grove, El Cajon, Escondido, Encinitas, Chula Vista and others. While there may be a heightened emphasis on tree planting during April for Earth Month, our tree planting efforts are year-round. We have a suite of tree-planting programs that allow our customers to get involved.
The SDG&E Tree Rebate Program enables residential customers throughout the service territory to plant trees in their yard, or a container on their patio or porch. Eligible customers can select from more than 25 species, each qualifying for a $35 or $50 rebate depending on size and availability. Once purchased and planted in the ground, or a container, customers can apply for the rebates online and upload supporting documentation. Eligibility is based on zip code and interested customers can learn more about this effort online.
In an effort to increase tree canopy within San Diego County and south Orange County, we have also developed the Sustainable Tree Program. Community members and partners within our service territory may be eligible for our Sustainable Tree Program, receiving up to 10 free trees from SDG&E’s approved tree list via delivery or pick up. This program is best for larger properties in rural or suburban communities that have ample space for trees. Learn more and apply for the program here.
In 2019, we teamed up with environmental nonprofit organization Healthy Day Partners to launch the Healthy Communities Fruit Tree Program. This program provides up to ten fruit trees to qualifying school gardens and community gardens in our service territory. The program is intended to strengthen and beautify communities, alleviate food insecurity, improve quality of life and address climate change. School or community gardens who are interested in the Healthy Communities Fruit Tree program can complete the interest list form here.
In partnership with local community-based organizations and agency partners, we strive to host dozens of tree sapling giveaways, providing utility friendly trees to our customers. You can learn more about how we help shape the future of life through urban greening and tree planting at https://www.sdge.com/treeprograms.