New street trees to be planted in West Long Beach this week

The tree scene in West Long Beach will be getting some TLC this week during a tree planting event Thursday morning.

About 50 volunteers from local groups will be geared up to plant and deep water 27 trees in sidewalks cuts that were newly installed by the city’s Department of Public Works, said Margaret Madden, neighborhood improvement officer for the city’s Housing and Neighborhood Services Bureau. These cuts are along Willow Street on both sides of the street between west of Webster Avenue and east of Fashion Avenue.

The trees that will be planted are all crape myrtles, Madded added. This species can sequester carbon well, are drought-tolerant and bloom flowers all summer, she said.

The event will kick off at Willow Street and Caspian Avenue and last from 9 a.m. to noon. Tools and refreshments will be provided.

This event is part of the I Dig Long Beach tree planting initiative, and is one of three tree planting events with volunteers this year, Madden said. Since 2012, the initiative sets to plant 10,000 trees by 2022. Funding for the million-dollar initiative comes from the Port of Long Beach and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

This tree planting event also comes after a pattern of breaking or falling trees in West Long Beach and other parts of the city. Nearly half of park trees in the city are dead or dying.

As temperatures continue to rise, trees are useful to reduce greenhouse gases and reduce cooling costs, especially in areas that experience extreme heat. They could also provide habitat to wildlife and increase property value.

For more information about the tree planting and watering event, call the Housing and Neighborhood Services Bureau at 562-570-6866.

Editor’s note: This story was updated to include the species of the trees that will be planted.

Nearly half of Long Beach park trees are dead or dying, report says

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Crystal Niebla is the West Long Beach reporter through the Report for America program. Philanthropic organizations pledged to cover the local donor portion of her grant-funded position with the Post. If you want to support Crystal's work, you can donate to her Report For America position at