Trees of San Diego & Why They Are Important

Trees are a crucial part of ecosystems around the world. They provide food, shelter, products, shade, and even recreation. More importantly, they create wildlife habitats, produce oxygen, and mitigate the harmful effects of pollution. They also create additional beauty to the spaces they inhabit, including the San Diego area. There are many benefits that trees bring to their communities, including:

  • Each tree can release up to 400 gallons of water into the atmosphere every single day.
  • Foliage removes toxic pollutants, such as ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, airborne ammonia, and sulfur dioxide. The larger the tree, the more pollution it can remove from the atmosphere.
  • Mature trees lower the ambient temperature and freshen the air we breathe.
  • The process through which trees synthesize food, called photosynthesis, converts carbon dioxide to oxygen, a gas necessary for human life. For example, a full-grown sycamore tree transforms 26 pounds of carbon dioxide into oxygen every year. One acre of trees produces enough oxygen for 18 people every day and absorbs enough carbon dioxide emitted by a car that has driven 26,000 miles.
  • Trees improve mental health and have healing qualities. They absorb noise, improve aesthetics, reduce stress, and create peaceful green spaces.
  • The root systems of trees cleanse groundwater and intercept rainwater, filtering it for impurities and extending the water’s availability for months.
  • Trees can offset heat increases caused by excessive glass and concrete in cities, reducing the need for additional energy consumption caused by cooling.
  • Trees are cost-effective. They can increase property values by 10-20%, and for every dollar spent on maintaining trees, the public receives three dollars worth of benefits.

Threats to Trees

Despite the many public benefits that trees bring to city spaces, they are being cut down in massive numbers to support commercial and urban development, extract resources, and raise livestock.  Approximately 32 million acres are cut down around the globe every year, and over 9,500 species of trees are threatened with extinction. This figure is more than 15% of all tree species. Further, over 1,850 are listed as Critically Endangered and may go extinct if conservation efforts aren’t increased.

Beautiful & Unique Trees in North County San Diego

North County San Diego has a semi-arid climate, much like the Mediterranean region. It is impacted by the Pacific Ocean’s presence to the west and the desert to the east. It is also made up of numerous microclimates that can influence humidity, temperature, and rainfall. Each region has optimal conditions for different types of trees to thrive. Some of the unique and beautiful trees found in San Diego include:

  • Palm Trees: Palm trees are not actually true trees, although they often come to mind when thinking about Southern California. They are more like grass and bamboo than trees, although they offer some of the same benefits as trees. There are many palm tree species across the world, although only several are found in the San Diego region, including the Mexican Fan Palm, the Queen Palm, the King Palm, the Pygmy Date Palm, and the Date Palm.
  • Eucalyptus Trees: Eucalyptus trees are found almost everywhere in the San Diego region, including within city limits, and across the nearby parks and canyons. They are fast-growing, fare well in dry conditions, and can reach up to 100 feet at maturity.
  • Jacaranda Trees: Jacarandas are a tropical and subtropical tree known for their beautiful pastel violet flowers. They are fast-growing trees that can reach between 25 and 60 feet at maturity.
  • Ficus Trees: While the ficus is known as a houseplant by many, it can reach up to 100 feet at maturity under the right conditions. And San Diego has great conditions to raise massive ficus trees.

This list represents a tiny amount of trees found in North County San Diego. And while these trees reach massive sizes at maturity, there are many other medium or small species to fit any green space area. Because trees are so important to any community’s populace’s health and welfare, the City of San Diego adopted a Five-Year Plan for its Urban Forestry Program in 2017.  This plan aims to increase the urban tree canopy cover to maximize the benefit of trees.

But in addition to the City’s actions regarding increasing trees in the community, individuals may want to consider adding or increasing the number of trees on their property. Not only is it great for property values, but it can beautify your personal space, cool your house, and make your home more inviting and relaxing. Trees have been integral to human existence for millennia – and they still add so much benefit to our lives every single day!

Recognized as a top tree care company, Tree Barber Enterprises serves thousands of residential and business customers in North County San Diego. Our Certified Arborists are highly skilled and extensively trained in the latest arboriculture techniques, enabling us to perform our tasks quickly, safely, and economically.