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SLO City launches program to protect urban forest

Arborists will check the health of trees
Posted at 8:37 AM, Feb 10, 2022

For the next six weeks, arborists in San Luis Obispo will catalog trees in the city for the Urban Forest Program. The goal is to get a good look at what the city needs to invest in the urban forest.

“The urban forest offers many benefits to the residents within the city. You know, from environmental benefits to economic benefits. So having the urban forest and optimal health is good for everyone," said Greg Cruce, deputy director of maintenance operations for the City of San Luis Obispo Public Works Department.

The urban forest helps reduce air pollution, run off, and it increases property value. The urban forest also helps promote physical and mental health, and the city says it helps increase consumer spending in neighborhoods.

Two arborists will check the measurements of the trees and look for defects, insect problems and decay.

The city will inventory the public rights-of-way, city parks, and city facilities. All other trees will not be included.

“This assessment will evaluate each tree for species size and conditions, and that will help us better project future maintenance and budget needs for the trees,” said Cruce.

He expects the tree inventory to cost around $80,000 to $90,000. The findings from the arborists will be used in San Luis Obispo’s Urban Forest Strategic Plan.