Canopy: Healthy Trees, Healthy Communities
August 2015
In this issue:
Community News and Events
Take a Tree Walk!
SUNDAY, Sept. 13, 10a - 12p
Meet at the Ohlone School, 950 Amarillo Ave., Palo Alto
August Tree Walk - Best Bayshore
Finally, a Sunday Tree Walk!
Join Canopy and expert arborist Mick Bench for a late summer stroll through the West Bayshore neighborhood. Encounter diverse tree species like the White Mulberry, Red Ironbark, Briotii Red Horse Chestnut, Patmore Ash, River She-oak, and many more.
Meet at Ohlone School, 950 Amarillo Avenue in Palo Alto.
Join Us!
East Palo Alto Annual Children's Day
Sat. August 29, 11am - 3pm 
Bell Street Park - 550 Bell Street, East Palo Alto
Children's Day Celebration
Each year, East Palo Alto celebrates children in the community with a free family festival -- food, entertainment, games, and fun for everyone!
Palo Alto Green Fest
Sunday, August 30, 2-5pm
Mitchell Park Com. Center
3700 Middlefield, Palo Alto 
Green Fest
Turning your family green has never been so easy or so fun!
Hosted by Project Enybody and the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce, the Palo Alto Green Fest will help everyone in your family boost their "Green IQ."
Learn from community leaders, play games, win prizes, enjoy live music from local bands -- and come visit the Canopy table!
City of Palo Alto responds to 'emergency situation' for urban trees
The San Jose Mercury News recently reported about the risk of losing trees during the drought, highlighting the efforts of the City of Palo Alto and other local organizations to save city trees.
One innovative solution from the City of Palo Alto is re-using water from basement excavation sites (also see "Reclaiming dewatering water" to the right) and delivering it to thirsty trees with the City's watering truck.
Thank you to our volunteers
Thank you to tree care emergency responders!

Tree care fun

We are so grateful to everyone who responded to our emergency tree care call!

We had over 30 hard-working volunteers come out last month to help with an emergency irrigation project.

A special shout-out to Davey Tree Expert Company; while we were in the process of converting the irrigation system, Davey came out with their watering truck to give 71 young trees a nice, deep drink!

Thank you, Inflection volunteers!

Inflection team

A big thank you to volunteers from Inflection as well who swooped in to help us finish our irrigation project!

Just for Fun
Tree of 40 Fruit


Nature meets art in this fascinating project by artist Sam Van Aken. It's a fruit tree with 40 varieties of stonefruit grafted onto its branches. Check it out!

Connect with Canopy:

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View our photos on flickr

Support Canopy:
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Canopy Online Resources:
Arborist List
Tree Library
Tree Care
Want to Help Lead Tree Plantings in your Community?
Be a tree planting leader!
Volunteer outside, meet neighbors, and make a visible difference in your community...

Hands-on Workshop:

Part 1: Classroom Training (Choose one date):

Thursday, September 17th, 6-8pm OR
Friday, September 18th, 6-8pm

Part 2: School Tree Planting

Saturday, September 19th, 9am - 12pm

BBQ to follow

This free two-part workshop will equip you to lead teams of volunteers during tree planting events in local schools, parks, and neighborhoods.

What you'll learn:

  • Tree planting steps and techniques that maximize tree survival
  • Tree biology basics that illuminate what matters to an urban tree
  • Tree care practices that keep urban trees healthy during their first vulnerable years 
  • Volunteer engagement practices that get every team member involved

Let's plant trees together! Canopy's amazing Planting Leaders are key to our success. They help engage residents, plant and care for hundreds of trees each year, and create greener, healthier communities. We couldn't do our work without them!

Ready to join the crew? Learn more and sign up.

Sign up!

Trees and Drought

Statewide campaign urges everyone to "Save our Water and our Trees!"

Save our Water and our Trees! Urban tree advocates across California have joined forces to spread an important message -- during drought, it's critical that we save our water and save our urban trees!

Visit the campaign website for great resources on caring for trees during drought, including great how-to videos for watering young and mature trees.

WATCH - "How To" Videos:

Learn more about saving water and trees on Canopy's website.

Q: Can I use recycled water to water my trees?

A: Yes, with caution -- not for all trees, and only as a supplement to potable water.

Recycled water purple pipe Recycled water is a drought-proof source of water that saves potable water and can be valuable in the landscape as a supplemental source of water.

However, it's important to exercise caution; most recycled water has a high salt content that can harm many tree species and woody plants.


Canopy's recycled water recommendations:

  • Avoid spraying recycled water directly on foliage.
  • Confine applications of recycled water to lawn and other small landscape plants.
  • Near trees, limit application of recycled water to every other week, ensuring recycled water does not represent more than to 1/3 of the water applied to trees.
  • Local companies such as RainDance and Purple Pipe deliver recycled and ground water to residents. Work with them to design the optimal application method and frequency to save both water and trees. 
  • Monitor signs of stress in your trees and plants -- for example, changes in leaf color, early leaf drop, or wilting. Contact a plant health expert or certified arborist for advice on adjustments to your watering if changes in health are observed.

More info: City of Palo Alto Recycled Water FAQ.

Reclaiming "dewatering" water

In Palo Alto, the City (and some residents) have also used "dewatering" water -- groundwater pumped out from local basement construction sites -- to water urban trees.

This water from dewatering stations is not as high in salinity as recycled water, but still higher in salinity than most potable water sources. Again, treat it as a supplemental water source for your landscape by mixing or alternating it with potable water.

Use gray water for plants

Note that recycled water is not the same as gray water, which is used potable water from leftover from household use such as baths, dish washing, washing machines, etc.

Gray water may be used on some trees, as long as biodegradable soaps are used. See a list of "Laundry to Landscape" Grey Water resources from the City of Palo Alto.

Report: Findings from the Palo Alto Young Tree Care Survey 2015
Young Tree Care Survey fun
The 2015 Young Tree Care Survey is all wrapped up! We owe a huge thank you to the dozens of volunteers that helped us survey young street trees throughout Palo Alto.

A few key facts from this year's survey:

  • 712 trees surveyed
  • 70% had excellent or good health ratings
  • 51% needed more water -- up from 39% of trees last year.

Other highlights:

  • Digital upgrade: this year, we piloted a new mobile app. It was a great success! We had lots of good feedback from volunteers. We will continue to perfect the app, and plan to use it again next year.
  • Immediate relief for thirsty trees: This year, we had a "fast track" process for reporting key data to the City of Palo Alto. Any tree marked as "needs water" was sent to the city immediately. The City then followed up with residents and, where needed, came by with the watering truck to give the thirsty tree a drink.

Read the 2015 Young Tree Care Survey report.

Registration now open!

Trees of Stanford: A Walk Through Time Trees of Stanford: A Walk Through Time

Saturday, October 10, 9am - 12:30pm

Join Canopy, Stanford Historical Society, and local experts as we explore the rich mosaic of Stanford trees on a journey through the past, present, and future.

Featured speakers and tree walk leaders:

  • Matt Ritter, Professor of Botany at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo;
  • Herb Fong, expert arborist and former Stanford Grounds Supervisor;
  • Dave Muffly, Head Arborist for Apple and passionate tree advocate
  • Sairus Patel, Editor of the Trees of Stanford website.

The event is free, but space is limited. RSVP today!


Canopy plants and cares for trees where people need them the most. We bring the life-giving benefits of trees to the schools, neighborhoods, and public spaces of the San Francisco Mid-Peninsula.

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