San Diego Gas & Electric
DRG assists SDG&E with its Sustainable Tree Program, a tree planting program that helps the utility reach its goal of planting 10,000 trees annually.
Over 20 years ago, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) started a tree replacement program. The program’s goal was to offer utility friendly trees to customers if trees that were incompatible with utility infrastructure were removed.
SDG&E’s long-standing interest in tree planting has continued to grow ever since. As part of its 2021 sustainability report, the utility made a commitment to plant at least 10,000 trees annually to support biodiversity, improve air quality, and sequester carbon. SDG&E has launched four programs to help meet this goal, including the Sustainable Tree Program.
Because of the longstanding relationship with Davey Resource Group (DRG), SDG&E asked DRG to facilitate the Sustainable Tree Program.
DRG works with cities, local agencies, non-profit organizations, tribal nations, and residents to get trees planted in their communities. Plantings are organized by various agencies, and entities interested in planting trees can sign up on the SDG&E website to receive up to 10 trees, five of which can be fruit trees. The trees come in 1-, 5-, and 15-gallon containers. The program also provides “utility friendly” trees as replacements after removal of trees that are incompatible with SDG&E’s right-of-ways. Once planted, DRG uses its proprietary software, MyROWKeeper, to keep track of the plantings and deliver data reports to the utility.
DRG sends periodic surveys to keep tabs on the trees’ survivability rate. DRG and the utility are working on their first annual audit using Resource Keeper and MyROWKeeper to measure the success rate of trees planted.
SDG&E has surpassed their goal of 10,000 trees planted for the first two years of the program. Over 25,000 trees have been provided to local residents, planted by local municipalities and other organizations, or contract planted directly by SDG&E since 2021. Over 4,000 people or organizations are on a waiting list to receive trees from SDG&E.
Trees are an important asset to the community. They provide cooling shade, reduce carbon emissions, filter and absorb stormwater, and more. SDG&E plans to continue all of its tree planting programs for the foreseeable future, making a long-term commitment to increasing tree canopy in its service area.