Statewide Campaign Launched to “Save Our Water and Our Trees” in Drought



Jessica Jewell



Statewide Campaign Launched to “Save Our Water and Our Trees” in Drought

TreePeople and other NGOs in partnership with raise awareness to save urban canopy

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. – A consortium of urban forest and other concerned urban groups across California are releasing a simple yet urgent message: Save Our Water and Our Trees. The campaign raises awareness for the potentially millions of urban trees at risk in our state, and focuses on the importance of keeping them alive in the drought.

SaveOurWaterAndOurTrees logo

As Californians cut back on water use during this historic drought they may not realize the impact this will have on surrounding trees. Trees in irrigated landscapes become dependent on regular watering. When watering is reduced – and especially when it’s stopped completely – trees will die. Tree loss is a very costly problem: not only in expensive tree removal, but in the loss of all the benefits trees provide: cooling and cleaning the air and water, shading homes, walkways and recreation areas as well as human health impacts.

“Now more than ever we need trees to protect communities from the effects of climate change. And as we see more and more die, we lose critical tree canopy coverage—canopy our cities rely on for a resilient future in the face of rising heat,” said Andy Lipkis, TreePeople Founder and President.


Trees in residents’ yards can and must be saved during the drought. What you can do:

    1. Deeply and slowly water mature trees 1 – 2 times per month with a simple soaker hose or drip system toward the edge of the tree canopy to within 1 foot of the trunk – NOT at the base of the tree. Use a Hose Faucet Timer (found at hardware stores) to prevent overwatering.
    2. Young trees need 15 gallons of water 2 – 4 times per week. Create a small watering basin with a berm of dirt.
    3. Shower with a bucket and use that water for your trees long as it is free of
      non-biodegradable soaps or shampoos.
    4. Do not over-prune tree during drought. Too much pruning and drought both stress your trees.
    5. Mulch, Mulch, MULCH! 3- 4 inches of mulch helps retain moisture, reducing water needs and protecting your trees. Do not pile the mulch against the trunk.

The message to governments and public agencies is that great communities protect their trees. Communities with ample tree cover are healthier and more prosperous. Some of our cities’ larger, heritage trees are literally irreplaceable, due to encroaching utilities and other urban infrastructure that limit the planting area for new trees.

How to Keep Trees Alive During the Drought
How to Keep Trees Alive During the Drought

Save Our Water and Our Trees is being hosted on the Save Our Water website, with many tips for both residents and agencies on how to water and care for trees so that they not only survive the drought, but thrive to provide shade, beauty and habitat, clean the air and water, and make our cities and towns healthier and more livable for decades to come.

About TreePeople:

TreePeople, a 42-year-old nonprofit organization, thrives in its mission to inspire, engage, and support the people of Los Angeles to take responsibility and participate in the vision of a safe, healthy, fun and sustainable city.


By Erika Abdelatif

Erika Abdelatif is TreePeople’s Social Media and Digital Content Manager. When she isn't creating a climate-resilient LA via the Facebook, she's probably writing in a coffee shop, infesting the internet with memes, or watching an open mic.