Sacramento Tree Foundation

The Sacramento Tree Foundation is a community benefit organization working to build healthy, livable communities in the Sacramento region by growing the best urban forest in the nation.

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Address: 191 Lathrop Way, Suite D
Sacramento, CA 95815
County or Parish: Sacramento
Executive Director: Ray Tretheway
Contact Email:
Primary Phone: 916-924-8733
Founded in 1982, the Sacramento Tree Foundation is the leading regional source for high-quality education and outreach programs that empower the public to understand the importance of trees and then to act by improving their own communities. Our programs focus on caring for and growing our urban forest, and much of their power comes from engaging citizens to learn about the environment in which they live and to become active in their schools, neighborhoods, and communities.

Looking at our substantial tree canopy today, few would guess that our six county region had few trees prior to 1850. Our historic landscape was one of marshes and grasslands, with just a narrow ribbon of trees along our rivers and waterways. Today our region has over 7 million trees, however, the average canopy cover is a mere 17%. For every existing tree in the region there are two spaces without trees. We are dedicated to reaching the widest audience possible in order to share the many linkages between an abundant, healthy, urban forest and the quality of life in our region and our planet. Growing scientific evidence highlights the public health benefits of neighborhood trees and green spaces. Trees have a powerful impact on air quality, climate change, energy conservation, water quality, economy, comfort, habitat and public health. Only by achieving maximum tree canopy cover throughout the region can we capture and optimize the remarkable benefits of trees. By educating and engaging citizens from all walks of life and from all neighborhoods, we can enhance the health and livability of our community with the benefits of a thriving urban forest.
Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to grow an urban forest! Join us in building healthy, livable communities by supporting the growth and stewardship of our tree canopy. Here are the best ways you can support this work: 1. Donate through fundraiser attendance and sponsorships, membership, gifts during our spring and end-of-year appeals, or planned giving 2. Volunteer at our tree planting and care events or commit to longer-term opportunities by becoming a Planting Leader, Save the Elms Program Citizen Scientist, or office volunteer 3. Sign up for a free expert consultation and shade trees to plant at your home or business (Sacramento County only) Our top needs: 1. Funding: Unrestricted - Whether you sponsor a Sacramento Tree Foundation event like the Tree Hero Awards, become a member, or just write us a check to help support our programs, the Tree Foundation relies on the generosity of our donors to continue educating and engaging Sacramentans to plant, protect, and value trees. 2. Funding: Program - Save The Elms Program: The majestic American and English elm trees are the dominant, most historical and visible of Sacramento's trees. Elms represent a remarkable legacy spanning generations; many of our elms are over 100 years old and provide irreplaceable beauty and health benefits. But they are threatened by Dutch elm disease (DED), a fungal disease with no known cure. We need your help to continue training citizen scientists to monitor these trees and prevent the spread of DED that would otherwise kill the remaining 1,890 elms that define our skyline. 3. Funding: Program - NeighborWoods: Even though Sacramento is known as the City of Trees, some neighborhoods have entire blocks without a single street tree while others enjoy a lush green canopy. The health and vibrance of our communities is directly linked to tree canopy coverage, so we prioritize working with neighbors in under-canopied communities throughout the region to make sure all neighborhoods can enjoy the benefits of our urban forest. We need your help to make sure Sacramento can be the City of Trees for all Sacramentans! 4. Funding: Program - Seed to Seedling: Every January, we distribute seedling-growing kits and educational materials to 3rd and 4th grade teachers free of charge. With an award-winning, state-approved curriculum, this program teaches children about our local ecology as they grow acorns into oak seedlings. The seedlings they grow find their way back to us in May, and we tend them all summer until they're ready to be planted by volunteers at our restoration sites in the fall. Your generosity helps us instill the value of trees and a curiosity about the natural world in the next generation of tree stewards. 5. Other - Please Describe - Urban Wood Rescue: The next time you need lumber for your home and garden projects, consider using sustainable, Sacramento-grown wood that we've salvaged! We mill dimensional lumber and live-edge slabs from trees that had to be removed and would have otherwise gone to the landfill. All proceeds support the work of the Sacramento Tree Foundation - every purchase helps us achieve our mission to build healthy, livable communities by growing the best urban forest in the nation!
In 1981, a group of visionaries came together to form an organization dedicated to planting and protecting Sacramento's trees. The urgency to establish a regional "voice for the trees" was very real: the city and county's ability to care for public trees was being curtailed by shrinking budgets, threatening one of the area's greatest assets. Meanwhile, patterns of suburban growth at the time, marked by treeless roadways and the destruction of native trees and habitats, reflected an unfortunate disregard for the value of trees in our lives. The mission of the Sacramento Tree Foundation, to plant trees in order to achieve healthy, livable communities, is just as relevant today as it was back then, but our impact on the community has grown.

In the three decades since the Sacramento Tree Foundation was founded, we have facilitated the planting of more than 1.5 million trees and mobilized tens of thousands of individuals across the Sacramento region to make their corner of the world more beautiful. Yet, from the beginning our mission has been about more than transforming the landscape. We have proved time and again that trees change lives. Consider the families whose modest yards line a busy roadway clogged with commuter traffic throughout the day. The mature trees along their fence lines provide a leafy barrier to the exhaust fumes of passing automobiles, allowing children at play to breathe freely. Or, consider the aging couple who maintain their daily fitness routine: despite the scorching summer heat, the vast canopy of red maples and sycamores that shade their path allow them to comfortably take a brisk walk around the neighborhood park. And think of the generations of schoolchildren in a local district who can now play and learn beneath the shade of 1,000 trees planted on their campuses by legions of caring volunteers. These stories and countless others clearly demonstrate that trees alter our lives for the better. That is why the Sacramento Tree Foundation has set a goal to achieve 35% tree canopy coverage in every neighborhood throughout the Sacramento region.

We are uniquely qualified to reach this goal. We are one of the largest, most successful urban tree-planting organizations in the world. We are recognized nationally for delivering innovative programs based on science and best practices. We have strong relationships with community leaders and thousands of volunteers, and the technical know-how to get the job done. But we cannot do it alone. This historic endeavor requires a major investment of resources from those who share our vision of a greener, leafier, healthier Sacramento region.

Ray Tretheway, Executive Director
-- Ray Tretheway, Executive Director