For 10th Year, San Franciscans Can Steward Future Street Trees this Holiday Season

Contact's name: 
Guillermo Rodriguez
guillermo.rodriguez@sfgov.org, 415-355-3756

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- San Francisco residents can once again make their holiday festivities a little more green this year by choosing to adopt and steward one of San Francisco’s future street trees. For the past 10 years, the Friends of the Urban Forest have offered beautiful, potted, four-to-six-foot living trees for San Francisco residents to bring home, decorate, and enjoy for up to six weeks.  After they are returned they are planted on San Francisco streets for everyone’s benefit.

“Living Christmas trees are much more environmentally friendly than dead ones,” said Dan Flanagan, Executive Director of Friends of the Urban Forest.  “People in the Bay Area are good at re-thinking tradition, and stewarding a live tree during the holidays is a great example of that in practice.”

Traditional Christmas trees typically have sad endings, lying bare on sidewalks and shedding dry brown needles until they’re carted off to be recycled. Residents who choose living trees instead of conventional cut trees help the environment by reducing waste and post-holiday litter. Plus, once the trees are planted, they help clean the air, reduce storm-water runoff into the Bay, and provide habitat for birds and other wildlife.

“The holidays are a time of generosity and love. Stewarding a living tree is a great way to show your love for San Francisco and our planet,” said Debbie Raphael, Director of the San Francisco Department of Environment.

The “Green Christmas Tree” program is sponsored by the Friends of the Urban Forest in partnership with the San Francisco Department of Environment. Its model – offering living Christmas trees for adoption that will then be planted afterwards as street trees – is the only one of its kind in the entire country. Last weekend, Friends of the Urban Forest hosted a street tree planting in the Sunset District featuring fourteen trees that had been stewarded by San Francisco residents last holiday season. The planted trees are now beautifying sidewalks and streets across San Francisco.

Unlike conventional cut Christmas trees, there are a number of different varietals available for adoption including Fern Pine, Japanese Blueberry, Catalina Ironwood, and Small-Leaf Tristania – all great trees for San Francisco’s climate. The trees are currently available on a first-come, first-served basis. One tree costs $75 and is fully tax-deductible.

“When I think of Christmas trees, I think about Charlie Brown’s example. How we can take something unconventional or different and turn it into something special,” said Debbie Raphael. “By stewarding a living tree in your home this year, you can make your holiday a little more special.”

This year, the trees will be available for pick-up on Saturday, November 19th  from 10am-2pm only at 1050 Edie Road in the Presidio. Thereafter, trees can be picked up from 9am-4pm on November 21-23 and Monday to Friday from November 28 to December 23 at Building 1007 of the Thoreau Center for Sustainability, between Lincoln Boulevard and Edie Road, in the Presidio.

To reserve your tree today, visit: sfenvironment.org/greenchristmas

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A future street tree that has been adopted and decorated for the holidays.
Photo credit: French By Design | http://frenchbydesignblog.com/

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