1,800 Climate-Ready Trees Provided to Residents of Low Shade Neighborhoods

To date, over 1,800 climate-ready shade trees and tips on their planting and long-term care have been provided by UC Master Gardeners and over 20 partners to residents of low shade neighborhoods in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties through the “Trees for Tomorrow Start Today” project. Tree species given away are identified from research projects including the joint University of California/United States Forest Service (USFS) study at UC Riverside as well as from other research, local observations, and input from the green industry and academic colleagues.

Trees for Tomorrow tree recipient
The "Trees for Tomorrow Start Today" project was implemented in 2019 by Area UC Cooperative Extension Horticulture Advisor Janet Hartin with support from the Inland Empire Resource Conservation District. A "train the trainer" model provided education to Master Gardener volunteers from San Bernardino County on project elements and follow-up. Master Gardeners now manage many of the events. In 2023, the program expanded into Riverside County. Several other Master Gardener programs throughout the state have also expressed interest in implementing the "Trees for Tomorrow Start Today" project.

Why is this project so important? 95% of Californians now reside in cities and suburban environments. Resulting urban heat islands created by built environments coupled with impacts of climate change can be mitigated through nature-based solutions. Planting climate-ready shade trees now will help ensure cooler urban areas in the next several decades as trees mature and maximize their urban ecosystem benefits. Fortunately, the shade from a single well-placed tree can decrease surface temperatures of black asphalt and artificial turf by more than 70 degrees F in hot inland and desert cities. Studies show that surrounding air temperatures can also be reduced through the transpiration process.

A major goal of the"Trees for Tomorrow Start Today" project is to enhance tree canopy cover in low shade neighborhoods also plagued with much higher than average levels of air pollution and pulmonary and cardiovascular disease incidence. Events over the past month have occurred in Fontana, San Bernardino, and the Salton Sea.

Fontana signage and tree recipeint
Other partners include San Bernardino County, City of San Bernardino, California Climate Action Fellows, Tree People, Coachella Valley Resource Conservation District, Alianza Coachella Valley, Inland Empire Urban Conservation Corps, several water districts, and other groups.  

Thank you to all our partners and, especially, our tree recipients, for greening and cooling your yard and neighborhood! 

TFTST San Bernardino MG Husam providing tree tips for tree recipients in Muscoy









TFTST San Bernardino MGs signing in a tree recipeint in San Bernardino