By Richard V. Pouyat, Ph.D. Emeritus Scientist, U.S. Forest Service

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Hi again! Last time I went through my first three, “what I have learned about urban soils” in my over 30 years of research. Here I present three more:

4. Spatially, urban landscapes represent a “new heterogeneity” of soil characteristics

As I pointed out in my previous blog, there’s a new paradigm in pedology (a branch of soil science focused on the formation of soil, its characteristics, and classification) where humans are now considered as a separate soil forming factor, which really regulates the “health” of the soil found in urban areas, and perhaps more importantly, the status of soil health is in space and time. You can think of it as human impacts on soil are not the same everywhere and those impacts can either take a long time to show a measurable effect, or take a long time to recover from a big impact that occurred in the past. So if we take a birds eye view of an urban area, we can see the results of the “a”, or human factor, throughout that landscape for a particular point in time (Fig. …


By Christyne Imhoff

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TreePeople has been distributing fruit trees since 1984, focusing on areas of LA County known as food deserts. These areas have limited access to grocery stores selling fresh fruits and vegetables and include South LA, Southeast LA and the Northeast San Fernando Valley. Home-grown fruit makes a positive difference in the lives and health of people, so distributing fruit trees to communities throughout Los Angeles has always been an important part of TreePeople’s work.

When choosing fruit trees for your own home, there are certain terms that are specific to fruit trees and are used on the tree identification tag. It is helpful to read and understand the terms before purchasing your tree. For example, some trees require another tree to help it pollinate, or require a certain amount of chill hours, in order to produce fruit. …


By Richard V. Pouyat, Ph.D. Emeritus Scientist, U.S. Forest Service

I have been involved in conducting research in urban ecosystems for over 30 years. And while I was pulling together a presentation for a recent virtual symposium on urban soils (Los Angeles Urban Soil Symposium) hosted by TreePeople, I asked myself, what in a nutshell have I learned about urban soils during that time? Well, I tried to keep it within 5 topics, but in the end I came up with 6. In part 1, I cover the first three. Here they are:

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1. Cities are the answer to continued human existence on the planet…


Four Ways to Involve Your Company with TreePeople’s Teams for Trees Program

By Christyne Imhoff

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When the coronavirus hit, TreePeople had to stop our beloved volunteer events, including our private events for corporate groups. Until we understood more and could safely ensure the well-being of staff and participants, TreePeople took a pause to learn and adjust. …


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TreePeople volunteers in Huntingon Park, CA.

To all of our wonderful volunteers who make our work possible: welcome back, welcome back, welcome back. We’ve missed you! Back in January, we announced that we had BIG plans for 2020, and even though COVID-19 admittedly threw a wrench into things, we still do. Our fall planting season is just around the corner and we need your help to close out the year with a bang.

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TreePeople volunteer helping water trees after the Woolsey Fire in Calabasas, CA.

This fall and through the spring, TreePeople will be planting 8,000 native trees and plants as part of our Angeles National Forest restoration efforts, 4,000 native trees as part of our Santa Monica Mountains restoration efforts, 2,000 street and park trees in the Gateway Cities, 400 street trees in Watts, and 200 street trees in San Fernando — as well as caring for thousands and thousands of trees that we’ve planted in recent planting seasons. …


The Chaparral Needs Your Help… And Together We Can Fight Fire

By Adam Corey Thomas

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It is 2 am on an unpleasantly warm but predictably unnerving autumn night. The Santa Ana winds are roaring through the hills and valleys of Southern California. Throughout Los Angeles, residents are on edge. It is not the wind that they are afraid of, even though it does have a role to play. It is fire. Angelenos are used to this threat, but now the danger has never felt so close and so extreme.

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While the threat of fire looms over the lives of so many here in Southern California — we have our emergency kits ready to go, our evacuation routes practiced and memorized — one thing that is not so widely known is how fire here is unique. The circumstance of fires in Southern California is far removed from the picture of overgrown and dying forests. Our Mediterranean climate isn’t home to pines and cedars, but to chaparral and coastal sage. Unlike the pine forests to our north, whose natural cycles promote small but frequent fires, our chaparral ecosystem has evolved to have a longer fire cycle — one that is driven by wind and drought, not density and overgrowth. …


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By Bryan Medina

One mother described carrying her child over flooded streets so their clothes wouldn’t get wet before school. Another worried that the chemicals and trash that linger in that same floodwater could contaminate their tap.

Many others found that they had similar concerns — and they all agreed to work to do something about it.

The Pacoima residents — along with about 20 others — had gathered in an online Zoom meeting for a WaterTalk held by TreePeople. …


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By Bryan Medina

TreePeople recently wrapped up planting thousands of shade trees in Southeast Los Angeles County and while they’re doing their best to brave the late summer heat, these trees require lots of help from residents to get the water and care they need.

This summer, TreePeople’s Community Organizing team invited communities in Southeast LA to learn more about our tree planting projects in their neighborhoods through our Virtual Tree Summits.

So far, TreePeople has held Tree Summits in Commerce, Norwalk and Downey, with more soon to come in Santa Fe Springs and La Mirada.

In these cities, part of the Gateway Cities region of Southeast LA, we’re currently planting 11,000 trees in parkways and parks. In an effort to get residents involved in caring for the trees, we’re holding Tree Summits in each city to discuss project progress, learn about the importance of shade trees and form Community Tree Care Teams to water and care for their trees. …


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By Yujuan Chen

Soil is the foundation of life. It has great potential to mitigate current and future climate impacts by sequestering carbon, improving water supply and water quality, supporting plant growth, enhancing food production, and maintaining healthy communities, especially in urban and surrounding areas where more than 80% of Americans live, work, and play.

Here are some facts:

  • Globally, about 95% of our food comes from soils (FAO, 2015).
  • Soils store and filter water improving food security and mitigating floods and droughts (FAO, 2015).
  • Soils host about 25% of our planet’s biodiversity (FAO, 2015). For example, 1 teaspoon of healthy soils (1 gram) can have up to 1 billion bacteria (Fortuna, 2012). …

By Jean-Paul Renaud

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TreePeople distributed free fruit trees on August 14 to 250 households in Huntington Park, which suffers from some of the worst pollution, lowest shade coverage, and some of the most limited access to healthy food in Los Angeles County.

TreePeople staff members and volunteers distributed mango, lemon, orange, and pomegranate trees to Huntington Park residents who pre-registered online at the Huntington Park Community Center. In partnership with city officials, TreePeople set up a temporary drive up distribution center, following Center For Disease Control guidelines in protecting residents, staff and volunteers from the spread of COVID-19.

TreePeople’s research shows that planting more trees reduces extreme heat in communities, improving public health while also beautifying cities. Fruit trees are particularly effective in areas known as “food deserts,” which lack access to clean and healthy food. …

About

TreePeople

TreePeople is Los Angeles’ largest environmental nonprofit movement. We inspire, engage and support people to take responsibility for the urban environment.

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