GVB logo 12-4-09 email.jpg April 2013 Newsletter

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This years’ California Arbor Week message: “These aren’t your trees.”

“These are your children’s trees.  And your children’s children’s trees.  And your children’s children’s children’s trees.

The trees we plant today will last for generations to come.  We are the stewards to help pass along these public trees to the next generation.”

During the 2013 California Arbor Week celebrations, Goleta Valley Beautiful teamed up with 6 school tree plantings, 4 community tree care events, 2 science fairs, and a tree planting with the Goleta City Mayor.  All in a long week’s work.

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Join the Cinco De Mayo Party at the 39th Annual GVB Awards at Dos Pueblos Ranch


We’ll be having a Cinco De Mayo party on May 5th at the magnificent Dos Pueblos Ranch Gardens to celebrate our 39th Annual Award winners.   We will have a taco truck with homemade tortillas, a salsa bar, and Mexican beer.  This fundraiser also helps support Goleta Valley Beautiful tree planting, care and educational programs.  Award winners will be announced shortly.  Reservations are now available online at www.goletavalleybeautiful.org (under Support Us-Attend an Event) for $30 and only $10 for students.   For more information call 685-7910, or email kknight@goletavalleybeautiful.org.   

Why Structural Pruning is Necessary

We’re at the end of the structural pruning period for this year, but we wanted to share with you an example of why this type of training is important.  Structural pruning is the removal of live branches to influence the growth spacing and attachment of braches, and to establish a dominant trunk.  Structural pruning is done to ensure more sustainable growth patterns.  A tree with a single central leader and well space branches will be able to grow taller and stronger than an untrained tree.  This is particularly important for street trees that must have their canopies begin at 14’ in order to allow for truck traffic underneath.


An example of  well trained Chinese Pistache trees are on the left below.  GVB volunteers recently conducted annual structural pruning on this and other Chinese Pistache trees planted on Cathedral Oaks Road just past Windsor Ave.  Trained trees develop a good branch structure that require few if any large cuts later in the tree’s life.


An example of a tree that has never been structurally pruned is the photo on the right below on Hollister Avenue in Old Town Goleta.  The tree has poor structure and is not growing as tall as adjacent Chinese Pistaches.  Simply raising the crown of the tree, as is done in many contract tree pruning operations, does not correct structural flaws.


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Get Up Close With The Nation’s Champion Sycamore at  the 12th annual Heritage Tree and History Bus Tour


Get an exclusive chance to see the largest California Sycamore in the country during our 12th Annual Heritage Tree and History Bus Tour Sunday May 19th from 1 to 5 pm.   Goleta Valley Beautiful and the Goleta Valley Historical Society jointly host the event, sponsored by Santa Barbara Airbus.  This majestic sycamore called the Sister Witness Tree is one of several national champions that hosts Jerry Sortomme and Ken Knight will introduce you to, and that is just at the beginning of the tour!  You’ll go to areas that you can’t get to on your own.  We will be returning to the Bishop Ranch for the first time in several years as well. Tickets can be reserved on line on a first come-first served basis at www.goletavalleybeautiful.org for only $40 with a special student admission of only $5.  For more information call 685-7910.    

Sign up for Goleta Valley Beautiful April Volunteer Events

Now that the trees are budding out, we’ll put away our pruners and help get trees ready for the long dry summer ahead.  We’ll also  being doing science night events at local schools, along with maintenance work at local schools, parks, streets and at UCSB, and end the month with a project at the Al Turnbull Grove. Our tree planting project at UCSB North Campus has been delayed to late May/early June.  Our Saturday morning events occur from 9 to Noon, and Saturday afternoons from 1 to 4 pm.  In order to keep our events up to date, we are now posting all of our events on our website volunteer events calendar at www.goletavalleybeautiful.org. During weekdays, we are also working at the Devereux Greenhouse. To get to the Greenhouse, From Storke Road and El Colegio, continue towards ocean on Slough Road for 1/2 mile, turn left onto Devereux Way, proceed 50 feet to the stop sign, turn right and go halfway around the circular road until you see the dirt road entrance to the Greenhouse.  We do have special projects for student interested in earning community service credits, and weekday events.   For all volunteer tree care events, please RSVP at www.goletavalleybeautiful.org.  Any questions call (805)685-7910.


Roadside trash collection in the Goleta area continues on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays.  Call Don and Judy Nason 964-4895 to RSVP.  Call 964-7117 to participate in graffiti removal and to report incidents in your area as soon as you see it.

Recommended Trees for Our Urban Coastal Area




This flowering tree is now blooming in brilliant color around town.  The Western Redbud (Cercis occidentalis)  is native to this area and is small (15 to 20’), which doesn’t work well as a street tree. The thin, shiny brown branches bear shiny heart-shaped leaves which are light green early in the season and darken as they age. Leaves on plants at higher elevation may turn gold or red as the weather cools. The showy flowers are bright pink or magenta, and grow in clusters all over the shrub, making the plant very colorful and noticeable in the landscape. The shrub bears 3-inch-long brown legume pods which are very thin and dry.The Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) typically grows 20–30 ft tall with a 26–33 ft spread. It generally has a short, often twisted and spreading branches. A 10-year-old tree will generally be around 5 m (16 ft) tall. The flowers are showy, light to dark magenta pink in color, 1.5 cm (½ inch) long, appearing in clusters from Spring to early Summer, on bare stems before the leaves, sometimes on the trunk itself.


Goleta Valley Beautiful has widely planted redbud trees at schools (Dos Pueblos and San Marcos High, SB Montessori, Hope and Mt View ), Fire Stations 11 and 14, along Highway 101,  at Hollister Avenue at Palo Alto, Calle Real west of the Mobil Station, and at the entrances to the Goleta Union School District and Winchester Canyon subdivision.  For more detailed information on this and other trees, please visit Selectree on the web at www.ufei.org/selectree.


(Previously featured trees: September - Chinese Pistache; October - White Alder, November - Ginkgo biloba, December - Brisbane Box, January - Arbutus marina, February - Coast Live Oak, March - Chinese Fringe Tree )

Tree Stories

This month’s tree story comes from Paul Avolio, President of Latitude34 Technologies:


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I grew up and went to Vieja Valley School in the 80’s.  This was a great time for me growing up and one of my fond, tree-related memories is of the giant sycamore tree and a game we got to play under it in the fall.


This is a rather large tree (staggeringly large when you are only 8 years old) that stands at the back of school between the last building and the field.  During the fall the leaves on the tree would turn to a very light tan and fall.  Lots of them, piles and piles of tan crunchy leaves.  I am sure this was much to the displeasure of the gardeners.  This was the signal to us that the best part was yet to come.  As the majority of the leaves fell and were collected or blew away we would come to a point, maybe only a day long, maybe for a whole week, depending on the winds, where the few remaining leaves were each visible all alone amongst the branches. 


This was the point where we would line up and wait for the wind to cause one of the remaining leaves to finally give up its grasp on the tree and be carried down the field.  We would run and try to position ourselves under the leaf to be able to catch it.  There was no score, no prize for catching it and it was immediately tossed down once it captured as we all ran back to the base of the tree.  Gathered once again at the base, we would watch and wait, trying to guess which leaf would be the next to give in to the inevitable and let go…and another race would begin.


If you have a tree story or memory that you would like to share, please send it to kknight@goletavalleybeautiful.org, and attach a photo if you have it. 

Birds Need Trees – Recent Research

The California Urban Forests Council March 20, 2013 Newsletter (http://www.caufc.org/Newsletter) is devoted to research of how trees are essential to birds.   Besides all the benefits that trees provide to humans, they also help wildlife including bird conservation

A study by Australian National University PhD candidate Karen Stagoll found that large trees in urban parks are “keystone structures” which provide important habitat and contribute to the richness, abundance and breeding of birds.

A 2010 study showed that:  Within migration, land birds spend up to 90% of their time resting and regaining energy at stopover sites, making habitat a key component," they explained. These findings suggest that remnant forests within urban areas have conservation value for migrant land birds," Professor Rodewald said."Obviously, larger forest patches are better, but even smaller ones are worth saving."

Goleta Valley Beautiful News Briefs

Membership Renewal  Time: If you haven’t received a renewal form or an invitation to our May 5th Annual Event, you can always donate online at www.goletavalleybeautiful.org.  Remember that among other benefits, all GVB members have the opportunity for receiving one free tree from our inventory at the Devereux Greenhouse and Growing Grounds.  Your generosity helps fund our day-to-day operations, keeping the doors open, the lights on, and allowing us to organize community efforts to plant and care for trees.  We are a growing business.  But there are over 3000 people reading this newsletter and only several hundred are financially supporting Goleta Valley Beautiful.   Please step up and help pay the share of those who can’t give their financial support at this time.

Thanks also to last month’s sponsors including: California Urban Forest Council, UCSB Coastal Fund, Goleta Union School District,  Santa Barbara Unified School District, West Covina Nurseries, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, California ReLeaf, Santa Barbara County Resource Recovery and Waste Management Division,  Devereux, and hundreds of GVB donor members. Please mention to our supporters how much you appreciate their support of Goleta Valley Beautiful.  You can find the list of our donor members at our website at www.goletavalleybeautiful.org

Statistical information about previous tree care events including the amount/locations of trees and volunteers can now be found in the archives of the education section of our website.   

If the hyperlink does not work, you can cut and paste the e-link into the address area of your browser.  Your comments to kknight@goletavalleybeautiful.org will help us build a better communications link.   To remove your name from the monthly e-mail newsletter list, please reply to this e-mail with the word 'remove' in the subject.