Sacramento – Introduction

  • To download Urban Forests Case Studies: Sacramento as a PDF, click here.

As E. Gregory McPherson and Nina Luttinger convey in their 1998 article “From Nature to Nurture: The History of Sacramento’s Urban Forest,” in the 1800s, Sacramento was known as a City of Plains, but in just 100 years, it would be transformed into a City of Trees. They detail how:

  • Less than 10 years after the Sacramento area was first settled in 1839, land lots were set aside for city parks;
  • By 1853, the City Council would plant trees along the city’s levees;
  • The city would institute a planting ordinance in 1874 to plant eucalyptus trees for public health reasons; and
  • In the early 1900s, Sacramento Bee editor C.K. McClatchy and others would become strong advocates for protecting and increasing the city’s tree canopy.[1]

This is a city steeped in a rich tree culture. Regardless of history, though, Sacramento’s modern urban forest faces the same difficulties as many others across the country — namely, funding and maintenance concerns. In Sacramento, three dedicated partners are committed to tackling these problems and caring for the city’s trees.


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[1] McPherson, E.G. and Luttinger, N. From Nature to Nurture: The History of Sacramento’s Urban Forest. Journal of Arboriculture. 1998, 24(2), 72-88.