June 13, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

9,000 Fruit Trees Given Away in Los Angeles in Jan. and Feb.

This January and early February, 9,000 apple, apricot, nectarine, peach, plum and several species of citrus trees were given to more than 90 community groups throughout Los Angeles County. The annual “Fruit Tree Giveaway” is coordinated by TreePeople, a nonprofit dedicated to helping nature heal our cities.

For the past 26 years, TreePeople has given away nearly 100,000 young, bare-root fruit trees to Los Angeles residents via schools, faith-based groups, elected officials, farmer’s markets and community gardens. These groups share the trees free of charge with individuals and families who might not otherwise have access to fresh fruit.

“We love sharing fruit trees with urban Los Angeles,” says Steve Hofvendahl, TreePeople’s Fruit Tree Manager. “Fruit trees offer local residents, shade, beauty and of course food. We’re helping feed L.A.’s under-served areas with the best tasting homegrown fruit imaginable!”

The fruit trees were distributed from three Los Angeles locations: East Los Angeles, the Northeast San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles Harbor area. Pre-registered community groups were required to bring volunteers to prune and wrap the bare root trees in wet newspaper before returning home to distribute to individuals and families.
All of TreePeople’s trees were chosen because they will thrive in Southern California’s Mediterranean climate. These deciduous trees are bare-root (without soil) and must stay cool and damp before planting. Most varieties offered may be grown permanently in pots, which is a good option for people who may not have access to a yard or garden. Detailed planting and care instructions were provided in both English and Spanish outlining the materials and steps necessary to ensure long term survival in pots or the ground. Recipients also received free training on proper planting and care of their trees from TreePeople trained foresters.

Why Fruit Trees? Fruit is an essential part of a healthy diet, but for residents of low-income neighborhoods, fresh produce is often prohibitively expensive. Planted in the winter months, bare-root fruit trees can produce fruit as early as the following summer. These trees are easy to care for and can produce abundant food for up to 40 years; they also clean the air and water, and provide shade, beauty and oxygen, produce for sale and learning opportunities.

TreePeople is an environmental nonprofit that unites the power of trees, people and technology to grow a sustainable future for Los Angeles. TreePeople’s mission is to inspire, engage and support people to take personal responsibility for the urban environment, making it safe, healthy, fun and sustainable and to share the process as a model for the world. More information at www.treepeople.org.

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