What is the City Plants Program
Continuing its extensive tree planting involvement since 1998, LADWP recently signed an agreement with the Los Angeles City Plants program to fund 40,000 additional trees to be planted throughout the City of Los Angeles over the next two years. City Plants addresses the low tree canopy cover in the City, which averages 21%, well below the national average of 27%. Trees provide energy savings through shading buildings and decreasing ambient temperatures while also removing pollutants from the air, absorbing polluted runoff, providing aesthetic benefits, and more. LADWP’s Efficiency Solutions unit will oversee the distribution of trees to maximize energy savings benefits in our communities.
The tree program determines energy savings and carbon sequestration attained by trees planted near homes using several variables such as climate zone, tree species and age, location with respect to the home, age of home, and type of cooling system in the home. Recent calculations show over 4.3 million kWh of direct energy savings are achieved annually through shading by trees that the LADWP provided to residents, businesses, and other city department tree planting programs. Trees planted under the new agreement will provide greenhouse gas reductions equivalent to taking 8,000 cars off the road.
Trees can also provide benefits in the drought. City Plants offers predominantly lower water use shade trees with care recommendations to minimize the amount of water the tree will need to consume to thrive. Trees can also capture stormwater for recharging our aquifers and reduce overall evaporation through creating cooler environments. Planting trees can be a perfect complement to well-incentivized turf removal projects, adding diversity to California-friendly landscapes while ensuring low long-term water use.