The Carbon Sequestration strategy in the City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) aims to facilitate the process of removing carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas (GHG), from the atmosphere through natural or artificial means. This is referred to as carbon sequestration. Trees, algae, and other vegetation are referred to as “carbon sinks” because they naturally take in atmospheric CO2 through their respiration processes. An important way our community can improve its carbon sequestration potential is by increasing the number of trees planted and by maintaining a healthy urban tree canopy.
Implementation of the Carbon Sequestration strategy is estimated to reduce the City’s GHG emissions by 5 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) by 2020 and 66 MTCO2e by 2030.
Explore the sections below to learn about the City’s planned and ongoing actions to achieve these GHG emissions reductions.
Managing Trees & the Urban Forest
Urban Forest Management Program
The City of Encinitas actively maintains a thriving urban forest of City-owned and maintained trees. City trees include trees in the public right of way, typically along streets and sidewalks, and trees within City parks. New trees are continually added to the City's urban forest and established City trees are maintained regularly. In addition to carbon sequestration, trees provide many benefits to our community such as improving water quality, reducing stormwater runoff, regulating temperature, reducing energy use in buildings, cleaning the air, enhancing property values, supporting human health, and providing wildlife habitat.
We recognize the City’s urban forest as one of our greatest natural resources. City leaders and staff have made our trees a priority and they are dedicated to the continued planting, protection, and maintenance of Encinitas’ urban forest. The departments of Public Works and Parks and Recreation have an established Urban Forest Management Program (UFMP) which closely follows the City’s UFMP Administrative Manual and incorporates the City’s Urban Tree Panting Program. In 2018, the City hired a City Arborist to support the implementation of the UFMP and oversee the care of the City’s trees.
Last updated April 26, 2023
CS-1: Develop and Implement an Urban Tree Planting Program
Urban Tree Canopy
The City's Climate Action Plan (CAP) set a goal of planting 50 net new City trees annually between 2018 and 2020 , which is a total of 150 net new trees planted by 2020 and planting 100 net new City trees annually between 2021 and 2030, for a total of 1,150 net new trees planted by 2030. As part of the 2020 CAP update, the City decided to increase the tree planting goal from 50 to 100 net new trees, doubling the City’s efforts to grow our urban tree canopy.
To accomplish this, measure CS-1 directs the City to develop an Urban Tree Planting Program to promote increased carbon sequestration by trees within the community. The established program additionally includes standards to right-size trees and minimize pruning and irrigation needs. Between 2018 and 2020, the City planted well over 50 net new trees annually and exceeded the CAP’s 2020 planting goal. The City is on track to meet the 2030 goal.
In 2022, the City planted a total of 181 net new trees. Between 2012 and 2022, the City planted a total of 1,101 new trees, averaging about 100 new trees planted per year. At the end of 2022, the City’s urban forest included 21,747 City trees in the public right of way and in City parks.
Last updated April 26, 2023