2014 Tree Heroes

C.K. McClatchy Award

John Anderson, Hedgerow Farms


John’s leadership in planting and caring for tree-filled hedgerows, as well as his inspiring others to follow in his footsteps, has a significant and lasting impact on the tree canopy of our region. Through his work, it is likely that he is responsible for the planting of tens of thousands of trees statewide. He began planting treesas soon as he acquired his farm in 1974. John has been a tireless on-farm researcher, proponent, activist, change-maker, educator, guide, mentor, and motivator for many. One of his iconic contributions has been the innovative use of native trees (and other plants) in the creation of habitat-friendly hedgerows and tailwater habitats. It is no coincidence that he named his nationally-known native plant enterprise "Hedgerow Farms". John’s hedgerows sparked a new interest in the benefits of plantings for habitat and windbreaks. At Hedgerow Farms, John has educated many others - farmers and ranchers, county and state road maintenance officials, and anyone else who would listen. As a result we have seen a resurgence of plantings of trees, shrubs and native grasses for wildlife habitat, erosion control, and beautification of the countryside. Today Hedgerow Farms grows, harvests and sells seed from over 70 California native species on 400 acres, mainly ecotypes from the California Central Valley, Valley Foothills and Central Inner Coast Range.

Austin B. Carroll Award

Sacramento City Unified School District

Over the past two years the Sacramento City Unified School District has worked closely with the Sacramento Tree Foundation to establish a streamlined process to promote tree planting events The District has created an approved list of trees based on size, maintenance needs and species.This list has helped guide many schools in tree selection for multiple tree events. Schools across the district have utililized this approval process to plant 218 trees at 25 different schools since 2011. Many of these schools are located in South Sacramento, which has less tree canopy than other neighborhoods.The tree planting event at each school is celebrated by the students, teachers, parents and surrounding community. Each tree is cared for by the students, helping to create a sense of ownership on campus. This lets them not only improve their surroundings, but also to change the landscape of Sacramento for generations to come.

Mansion Gardener Program, Sacramento

The Mansion Gardener Volunteer Program at the Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park is a great success for our grand old trees. Sacramento Magazine named the mansion and its grounds"Best Comeback". An enthusiastic group of volunteers began working in 2012 to help restore the grounds under the leadership of Bonnie Hansen, our Park Interpretive Specialist and Volunteer Program Coordinator. Bonnie recruited Ron Colman, a certified arborist recently retired from SMUD. Ron and his assistant, George Shadinger, have been doing major work on the trees to bring them back to health and beauty.This group saved California State Parks at least $15,000 in skilled volunteer labor and expertise. Ron has taken cuttings of some of the rare old camellias to preserve their genetic material for future generations. Ron and George decorated our saucer magnolia, along the 16th street side of the mansion, with close to 6,000 tiny white lights.This created a neighborhood sensation and brought attention to this fine old tree, perhaps the largest saucer magnolia in the region. Last spring Bonnie worked with the Sacramento Tree Foundation to bring several historic trees back to the site. This project celebrates Sacramento’s historic and current dedication to its urban forest.

Growing Greenprint Award

City of Citrus Heights

The City of Citrus Heights has valued their urban canopy since incorporation in 1997. In addition to their ongoing efforts, this past year the City completed a citywide tree inventory, held a Citizen Arborist Community Workshop, installed an Oak Woodland Demonstration Area at the Stock Ranch Nature Preserve, and planted trees at various locations throughout the city. The City’s General Plan includes several policies to protect native oak trees and requires the incorporation of existing trees into development projects. The City requires tree permits for any work on or around native oak trees and other mature trees and removal permits for native oaks are only issued if the certified arborist determines it poses a safety hazard. As part of the Stock Ranch Nature Preserve Project, the City partnered with the Sacramento Tree Foundation to plant and maintain oaks in the Oak Woodland Demonstration Area. In 2013, the city developed the Citrus Heights Urban Greening Strategy (CHUGS). As part of the CHUGS project, the City conducted a tree inventory to assess the existing urban canopy. The City planted approximately 150 new trees on pubic property just in 2013. As part of the upcoming Green Parking Lot Demonstration and Monitoring Project in summer 2014, the City will plant 65 native trees.

Legacy Award

The Incredibly Massive California Black Walnut in Rio Linda


This may be the biggest Black Walnut you will find in our region.It is so large and majestic that at a distance it looks like a heritage valley oak.Located byRio Linda’s Central Park Horse Arena, it's reported by locals to be quite old, and serves as a gathering area for the community.It survived some seriously terrible pruning,and yet has still managed to obtain an overall beautiful structure.