Plant Trees SF Events 2007 Archive: 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018


The current Friends of the Urban Forest Events Calendar for May and June is available at
 join us at one of our upcoming planting or tree care events contact the planting manager or tree care coordinator for more details.

May Email Update:

May - June Plantings and Tree Care Days:
Replacement Tree Planting - June 2 - Christian Drake x100
Russian Hill Tree Care - June 9 - Ellyn Shea x102
Noe Valley Basin Expansion - June 23 - Mei Ling Hui x110
Eureka Valley Tree Care - June 23 - Ellyn Shea x102

Needed: Planting Project Intern - Reed Milnes x103

1. Basin Expansion with Native Plant Gardens by Mei Ling Hui
2. Landmark Tree of the Month - by Mike Sullivan
3. Volunteer to Help Clean Up Your Neighborhood!
4. San Francisco Rec. and Park Open House 2007
5. Swankety Swank - A New Green Boutique with 10% Off for FUF members
6. Free E-waste collection

1. Basin Expansion with Native Plant Gardens by Mei Ling Hui

Last year a new permit called the Permeable Sidewalk Landscaping Permit was passed which allows the creation of gardens in the sidewalk by the removal of strips of concrete along the curb. These gardens have the potential to provide numerous ecological and economic benefits to our urban environment. Studies have shown that plants and landscaped areas can make us safer, happier, and wealthier.

These gardens can reduce the speeds of traffic and create a physical and mental barrier between the street and the sidewalk, keeping pedestrians, children and pets out of harm's way. They can reduce crime by creating a street that looks more cared for and by encouraging people who live near them to spend more time outside and around their homes which can increase neighborhood involvement and awareness of what type of activities take place on your street. Plants also increase the amount of time a shopper is willing to stay in a commercial district and increase the amount of money they spend while they are there by up to 12%. Landscaping can also significantly increase the value of a property and in some cases this permit may be the only way a building owner can landscape their property in this city.

The replacement of concrete by plants allows for the absorption heat instead of reflection of it. This absorption of solar energy reduces the Urban Heat Island effect, a phenomenon which can significantly alter surrounding ecosystems and increase the amount of energy used in the city. These open areas also absorb more rainfall, reducing the strain on our combined sewer system, a system that mixes building waste with street water runoff before processing. In periods of high rain fall our sewer system can't handle the volume of water that passes through it and the combined sewage is released directly into the bay without being cleaned. Removing a 3' square of concrete will reduce the amount of rainfall run-off by five gallons for every inch of rain that falls.

And perhaps most interestingly to us here at FUF, these gardens reduce the amount of concrete around a tree which reduces how much the trees and sidewalk affect each other, resulting in healthier trees and less concrete that needs to be maintained. And while these garden spaces have the same requirements of passable space for pedestrian traffic as trees do, they can be installed in areas where trees can't be planted due to proximity of existing utility lines, street corners, or other infrastructure.

To explore the option of a sidewalk garden for your property please contact Friends of the Urban Forest for more information.

2. Landmark Tree of the Month - by Mike Sullivan

After years of observing San Francisco's street trees, I thought I had seen just about everything there was to be seen. Then one day, a few years ago, I happened to be walking down an obscure little street on Liberty Hill in the Castro District, and I saw a tree that was definitely an alien being among San Francisco trees! The tree was covered with brilliant pink pea-shaped flowers that I had definitely never seen before. The street? A dead-end block of Cumberland Street, between the Noe Street staircase and Sanchez Street. The tree? Well, after a little bit of sleuthing, I learned that it was a cockspur coral tree (Erythrina crista-galli). If I'd grown up in Los Angeles, it might have been more familiar, because this warmth-loving tree is more common in Southern California.

Cockspur coral trees are native to southern Brazil, Uruguay, and northern Argentina. Crista-galli is Latin for "cock's comb," which the distinctive showy pink flowers resemble. In Argentina, children call the flowers patitos (ducklings), because they float like little ducks when dropped in water.

This particular tree is at 366 Cumberland, and the best time to visit is in about a month, in late June or early July, when the flowers are at their peak. I'm only aware of one other coral tree in San Francisco - a small one almost hidden in the bushes along the Greenwich Stairs on the east side of Telegraph Hill. But the coral tree on Cumberland, for its size, its rarity, and its obscure, almost hidden location (don't you wonder how trees like this get to be where they are?) qualifies in my book as a landmark San Francisco tree.

Mike Sullivan is the author of Trees of San Francisco and maintains


3. Volunteer to Help Clean Up Your Neighborhood!

Please volunteer with the Community Clean Team, and help beautify District 5 neighborhoods. The Community Clean Team organizes volunteer clean up events in San Francisco neighborhoods throughout the year. We will be out at two locations this year on Saturday, June 9th. The kickoff site will be at Ella Hill Hutch Center at McAllister and Webster and another site will be at Alvard Lake on Haight and Stanyan.

All events begin at 9:00 am, and run until noon. Volunteer activities will include cleaning up litter and recycling, tending to neighborhood trees and plants, and painting out graffiti.

To RSVP for an event and to find out more information, please call 552-9201x10, or email

Meet your neighbors, and make a difference in keeping San Francisco clean, green and beautiful...please volunteer!.

4. San Francisco Rec. and Park Open House 2007

5. Swankety Swank - A New Green Boutique with 10% Off for FUF members

This new boutique in the NOPA neighborhood features conscious consumer commodities. Owner/artist Yabette Alfaro refurbishes old furniture into charming new art pieces. The shop has a variety of beautiful goods from many Bay Area artists that are handmade, independently produced, and/or recycled. Mention you are with FUF and get a 10% discount! You'll find bags, hand bound books, jewelry, home decor items and more. Join the artists for a Goddess show on Saturday, July 21. In the meantime, save a tree and bring your old furniture to Yabette for a makeover!

Swankety Swank is at 1808 McAllister, near Baker St. Open for browsing on the weekends- Thursday & Friday 2-8; Sat & Sun 12-6. Or phone for an appointment: 415/440-6996

6. Free E-waste collection


Friends of the Urban Forest
For updates and info, contact scott at planttrees dot org.