Native Tree Planting
Acorn and seedling oak tree planting projects are a priority for RUFF. With the help of the City of Roseville, Open Space Division and hundreds of volunteers, we have planted
over 2000 seedling trees and hundreds of acorns at sites in Roseville’s open space preserves over the last 15 years. These young trees will help replace aging oaks and restore some of the canopy that was removed during development. As they grow, they will provide habitat for many native animals, birds and insects as well as absorbing and sequestering carbon dioxide and other air pollutants. The shade near creeks keeps the water cool enough for fish to spawn. And the trees help reduce local flooding by allowing rain water to soak into the ground rather than flowing into the streams. When the trees are mature, the shade will provide welcome cooling to the neighborhood.
These native oak trees are adapted to the Roseville area and will need no irrigation and maintenance after they are established. During the first few years the young trees are protected from browsing animals by tree shelters and from weeds by a thick layer of mulch and periodic mowing. As the trees get large enough to protect themselves, the shelters are removed.
Why plant oaks? Some types of native oaks (Interior Live Oaks and Valley Oaks) do a good job of re-seeding themselves and you can find young to old trees in most stands. But the Blue Oaks which grow on higher and drier ground are less commonly seen as young trees unless humans assist. Until about 1850, California was grass lands were composed of perennial bunch grass which stayed green all summer and had spaces between clumps where wildflowers and Blue Oaks could grow. Settlers brought seeds of annual grasses such as barley and rye, which germinate and grow in the cool seasons and die in the summer. Because these grasses grow very densely over all bare ground, the acorns cannot get a good start. Incidentally, the wildflower show was reportedly amazing before the annual grasses arrived.
Library Book project
We have been giving tree and nature books to public school libraries in Roseville for seven years. We choose books that promote understanding and appreciation of the importance of trees and their place in the natural world. The books are chosen by RUFF board members working with Adelante High School students. Volunteers contact schools to arrange delivery and many schools choose to have Adelante students read the books to selected classes. Adelante High School is Roseville’s Continuation School and the students have done a great job working on this project. Funding for this project is from City of Roseville Tree Mitigation Fund and from a grant from Sacramento Tree Foundation, Citizens Advisory Tree Committee.
RUFF works with the City of Roseville’s Mitigation Fund to provide trees for publicly owned properties in Roseville. RUFF provides advice on the best trees for the location and how to properly plant tree, arranges the logistics and the City provides funding. Usually these trees are on school properties, with some in parks. We have provided trees to most of the public and private schools in Roseville. Trees on school grounds are especially important for improving pupil concentration, keeping the area cool and protecting delicate young skin from excess ultraviolet exposure.
Outreach and Education for the Public
Helping people understand the value and importance of trees is central to our mission, so we work to enhance tree knowledge for people of all ages. Children love our “Critter
Book” that they can assemble at Roseville’s Earth Day event. It has clues about a bird, reptile, or mammal who lives in the oak woodland along with a photo and an explanation of how the critter lives. They are intrigued by the stick that holds it together. Adults are always interested in tree selection and tree care information, so we provide resources on our website and at speaking opportunities. We are working on a grant from CalFIRE (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection) to improve our outreach materials and to take our message out to interested groups. Usually people are interested and surprised to learn how vital tree canopy is to our communities health, prosperity and quality of life.