Tree Program - Tree City USA

Santa Ana Green Logo

Jacaranda Lined Street

Gold Flowering Tree

Tree in bloom

White Flowering Tree

Pink Flowering Tree

Tree Planted by Local Children

Tree Lined Street

Palm Trees

Fall Tree Lined Street

The City of Santa Ana was first recognized as a Tree City USA in 1999.  The Tree City USA is an annual, renewable designation that means the city has:

  • Established a Tree Board—The Environmental Transportation Advisory Committee, made up of council appointees who provide oversight on tree planting programs.
  • Established a Tree Care Ordinance—In 1999, the City adopted its Tree Care Ordinance which provides guidelines for maintaining a healthy urban forest.
  • Celebrated Arbor Day annually.
  • Established a Community Forestry Program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita.

The tree program is crucial to the look, feel, and health of our community. The City spends $2.6 million per year on its tree programs.  This includes purchasing, planting, and maintaining all City-owned trees. Employees in the tree section keep our urban forest of 60,000 trees healthy and attractive.  Tree planting is typically scheduled in the fall months to provide trees with the optimal weather for successful growth.

The City has defined a Designated Species List for future plantings of City-owned trees, which includes the following:


African Sumac Jacaranda
Australian Willow  Lavender Bloom
Bottle Tree Magnolia Samuel Summers
Brisbane Box Modesto Ash
Camphor New Zealand Christmas Tree
Canary Island Pine Peppermint Tree
Chinese Elm Queen Palm
Coast Live Oak Sycamore Alamo
Crape Myrtle Sycamore California
Gold Medallion Sycamore London Plane
Holly Oak Tulip Tree
Honey Locust  


View pictures of the Designated Tree Species

10 Reasons Trees Are Valuable and Important

1. Trees Produce Oxygen
Let's face it, we could not exist as we do if there were no trees. A mature leafy tree produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year. What many people don't realize is the forest also acts as a giant filter that cleans the air we breathe.


2. Trees Clean the Soil
The term phytoremediation is a fancy word for the absorption of dangerous chemicals and other pollutants that have entered the soil. Trees can either store harmful pollutants or actually change the pollutant into less harmful forms. Trees filter sewage and farm chemicals, reduce the effects of animal wastes, clean roadside spills, and clean water runoff into streams.


3. Trees Control Noise Pollution
Trees muffle urban noise almost as effectively as stone walls. Trees planted at strategic points in a neighborhood or around your house can abate major noises from freeways and airports.


4. Trees Slow Storm Water Runoff
Flash flooding can be dramatically reduced by a forest or by planting trees. One Colorado blue spruce, either planted or growing wild, can intercept more than 1,000 gallons of water annually when fully grown. Underground water-holding aquifers are recharged with this slowing down of water runoff.


5. Trees Are Carbon Sinks
To produce its food, a tree absorbs and locks away carbon dioxide in the wood, roots, and leaves. Carbon dioxide is a global warming suspect. A forest is a carbon storage area or a "sink" that can lock up as much carbon as it produces. This locking-up process "stores" carbon as wood and not as an available greenhouse gas.


6. Trees Clean the Air
Trees help cleanse the air by intercepting airborne particles, reducing heat, and absorbing such pollutants as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. Trees remove this air pollution by lowering air temperature, through respiration, and by retaining particulates.


7. Trees Shade and Cool
Shade resulting in cooling is what a tree is best known for. Shade from trees reduces the need for air conditioning in summer. In winter, trees break the force of winter winds, lowering heating costs. Studies have shown that parts of cities without cooling shade from trees can literally be "heat islands" with temperatures as much as 12 degrees Fahrenheit higher than surrounding areas.


8. Trees Act as Windbreaks
During windy and cold seasons, trees located on the windward side act as windbreaks. A windbreak can lower home heating bills up to 30 percent and have a significant effect on reducing snow drifts. A reduction in wind can also reduce the drying effect on soil and vegetation behind the windbreak and help keep precious topsoil in place.


9. Trees Fight Soil Erosion
Erosion control has always started with tree and grass planting projects. Tree roots bind the soil and their leaves break the force of wind and rain on soil. Trees fight soil erosion, conserve rainwater, and reduce water runoff and sediment deposit after storms.


10. Trees Increase Property Values
Real estate values increase when trees beautify a property or neighborhood. Trees can increase the property value of your home by 15 percent or more.