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Shade And Save: Free Tree Programs Help Californians

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June 3, 2008

Los Angeles, CA - Californians trying to save on their energy bills may want to consider "nature's air conditioner." A strategically-placed shade tree can greatly reduce energy consumption, according to many of the state's public utilities that offer free residential shade trees to their customers.

Dan Knapp with the L.A. Conservation Corps says it's not as simple as just planting a tree. He says they want to make sure homeowners choose the right tree and know how to care for it in the years to come.

"The education up front is paramount to changing some of the public's mind set, but also ensuring that we have a viable, healthy, diverse urban forest in the future."

Participants in the "Trees for a Green L.A." program must complete a workshop to help them in the selection and maintenance of the trees. Knapp says the first couple of years are crucial to a tree's survival.

"It's an online workshop; it's fairly simple. I think it takes less than a half-hour to go through. You can order your trees right there and L.A. Conservation Corps will deliver those trees to your doorstep."

Knapp says trees also help sequester greenhouse gases and other airborne pollutants. Customers are urged to contact their public utility to find out more about their free tree program.

Lori Abbott/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - CA