USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station

Pacific Southwest
Research Station

800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

Publications and Products

Title: From nature to nurture: the history of Sacramento's urban forest

Authors: McPherson, E.G.; Luttinger, N.

Date: 1998

Source Journal of Arboriculture

Abstract: Over the course of 150 years, a combination of cultural and natural processes drove Sacramento's transition from City of the Plains to the City of Trees. This paper describes how the many authors of Sacramento's treescape have affected the health, management, and public perception of the city's trees. Local government directed early street and park tree plantings and banned problem tree species by ordinance. During the first half of the 20th century, participation in street tree planting and preservation by groups such as the Chamber of Commerce, Boy Scouts, Science Teachers Association, and "tree enthusiasts" raised public awareness and civic pride. The large trees shading city streets became a community icon, frequently described as the "crowning jewel of Sacramento." More recently, concern about street tree health associated with declining funds for municipal tree care has spawned new partnerships that involve trained volunteers in Dutch elm disease control, residents in energy-conserving yard tree planting, and a public task force in developing policy recommendations to perpetuate Sacramento's legacy as the City of Trees.

Keywords: Urban forest, forest history, forest management, historical development

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    McPherson, E.G.; Luttinger, N. 1998. From nature to nurture: the history of Sacramento's urban forest. Journal of Arboriculture. 24(2): 72-88.
Last Modified: July 28, 2020