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Mayor promises 2,000 new trees citywide

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Plantings are supposed to combat carbon emissions, but most people probably happy just to have the greenery,

Mary Ellen Pleasant Park.
Brock Keeling

On Thursday, San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell announced he wants to include funding in the city’s upcoming budget to plant 2,000 new trees citywide by 2020, which the mayor’s office says is part of a larger city initiative to eliminating San Francisco’s carbon emissions.

“We cannot wait for Washington, D.C. to act—we owe it to our future generations to take bold climate action,” Farrell said in a Thursday statement. “We are accelerating our plan for an emissions free future now, before it is too late.”

The plantings are part of a larger initiative to eliminate San Francisco’s carbon output by 2050. Thursday’s announcement also boasts, “The City has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 29 percent below 1990 levels—the equivalent of nearly more than 400,000 cars off the road—while San Francisco’s population increased by 20 percent.”

In all likelihood though, most residents will just be happy to have a little extra greenery around on its own merits.

According to the San Francisco Planning Department’s map of every public tree in San Francisco, the city presently maintains 124,931 arboreal assets, a population boost of 136 trunks year over year.

But the map also reports more than 39,000 vacant planting spots, so there’s room to grow. Note that this only includes trees on public streets and that the parks are a whole other matter.