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City Council Votes to Support Trees while Saving Water

August 16, 2017

On Tuesday evening, the Sacramento City Council voted to implement a plan to encourage residents to conserve water regardless of yearly rainfall. The ordinance makes sense considering that droughts are a frequent occurrence in the region. The new ordinance restricts automatic sprinkler water use to two days a week and penalizes users whose irrigation create urban runoff. However, the ordinance does not have the same restrictions on direct watering systems such as hand watering, hose watering, drip irrigation, and soaker hoses. Such allowances are beneficial to our urban forest since those are the best ways to water trees on private property.

A few weeks ago, we began receiving calls from supporters concerned that the ordinance would hurt mature trees that were still recovering from the drought. In response to these calls, we started a dialogue with City Council and the Department of Utilities.

Along with the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers and Green Acres Nursery, Sac Tree offered amendments so that the ordinance would offer proper education and outreach to Sacramento residents so that they would not cut off the water to their trees during hot, dry summers.

Once the new water restrictions are put into place, we will support the City in its efforts to reach out to all Sacramento residents and educate them on how best to water and care for their trees. We will do that by holding our “Caring for Trees in Low Water Landscapes” workshops all around town and through the “Save Our Water and Our Trees” messaging campaign. But our best messenger is you! Tell your neighbors that watering their trees is not just legal – it’s important. If they have questions, send them our way.