Tucson tree planting program is really branching out - Tucson News Now

Tucson tree planting program is really branching out

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild launched his "10,000 Trees For Tucson" campaign Friday.

We're all being asked to be part of it so, as our trees grow so do the benefits.

Rothschild and other community members pitched in to plant a tree in Armory Park.

The major is partnering with Tucson Electric Power (TEP), Trees For Tucson and other organizations.

Rothschild wants people to continue to plant low water use trees, native to desert.

His concern is that Tucson could lose its tree canopy.

"We have a lot of older trees in our community. We lose trees to weather every year, to frost and so if we're going to keep our tree canopy, we need to continue to plant trees," Rothschild says.

The mayor says there also is an economic value in trees.

"I've looked at studies that say when you plant two mature trees in front of your house your value of the home goes up 6, 7%. When you plant trees in front of your business, people are attracted to it," he says.

Also Friday, the mayor honored Trees For Tucson and Tucson Electric Power for helping to get 90,000 trees planted over the last 20 years.

"We are trying to reduce your electricity bill. That reduces the amount of carbon that's produced by our power plants, and also the trees absorb carbon dioxide, giving us a double benefit," says TEP President and Chief Operating Officer David Hutchens.

With TEP, Trees For Tucson provides low-cost shade trees to Tucsonans.

TEP customers pay for the program through a fee on their electric bills.

Trees cost $8.00 each.

Depending on when your home was built, you can get up to two or four trees a year.

"We'll look at the site that's been selected to make sure it's the right site and also to provide information about the actual planting, as well as water use," says Tucson Clean and Beautiful Executive Director Joan Lionetti.

Trees For Tucson is part of Tucson Clean & Beautiful.

Trees For Tucson is getting more corporate support, along with the mayor's initiative.

Long Realty has committed to planting nearly 2,000 trees as part of the initiative.

"I think that just as good citizens of Tucson--houses and trees have gone together for an awful long time," explains Long Realty Associate Broker Barrie Herr.

Two other corporate sponsors are Chapman Automotive and Hamstra Heating and Cooling.

Mayor Rothschild has a web site where Tucsonans can go to participate in the project.

He says planting trees is a simple way to beautify the city.

He wants the 10,000 trees to be the start of an ongoing project in the city.

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