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Literature and Info Sheets

Literature and Infosheets

This is a general overview of the literature on this website, as well as additional information which may help you.  You can also find these on the pages specified next to them.



Getting a Tree

Selecting Your Tree

Tree Planting

Tree Care

Plant Care and Information
(shrubs and plants from our nursery)

Additional Tree Information


Volunteer Parental Consent Form - On pages: Volunteer Signup, Events Calendar

Youth Education

Trees and Our Watershed Youth Education Presentations

Trees and Our Watershed Lesson Plans and Worksheets
Kindergarten and 1st Grade  - On pages: Trees and our Watershed

Trees and Our Watershed Lesson Plans and Worksheets
2nd and 3rd Grade - On pages: Trees and our Watershed

Trees and Our Watershed Lesson Plans and Worksheets
4th and 5th Grade - On pages: Trees and our Watershed

Additional Resources

 Calculate your CO2 Debt 
 Trees Are A Wise Investment
 The Endangered City Forest
 The Economic Benefits Of Trees In Urban Communities
 Trees Mean Business
 Donate a Living Christmas Tree! 
 Tending Our Community
 Tree Advocacy
 Trees And Water
Don't Top Trees Flyer
Don't Move Firewood


Reading Material

Recommended Reading List

The titles listed below are some useful reading resources from Our City Forest


The Simple Act of Planting a Tree

Plant a Tree, Grow a Friend

Shading Our Cities

One Green Tree (comic book sets)

The Earth Manual

Project Learning Tree - Env. Ed. Activity Guide

National Urban Forestry Conference Proceedings - 1991 - 1995

Oaks of California

Growing Greener Cities

Urban Forest by David Bayles

Audio Tapes

The Man Who Planted Trees (book set)

Trees are Terrific - National Arbor Day

Presentations from National Urban Forestry Conference

Technical Guides

1,001 Questions Answered About Trees

Tree Pruning - A Worldwide Photo Guide

Urban Trees - A Guide for Selection, Maintenence, & Planning

Western Garden

Master Tree Finder

Trees Reference Guide for North America

All About Pruning

A Field Guide to Insects & Diseases of California Oaks- A terrific publication on Oaks with good color photos and descriptions of problems.


See our useful links page

Newsletters & Magaines

American Forestry Association

California ReLeaf

Our City Forest

Miscellaneous community tree groups

Free Informational Materials Include:

Technical Reports & Articles

Trees and Powerlines

San Jose - Urban Forestry Issues and Trends

Trees of San Jose

Master Urban Forestry Plans of...various cities

Impact of Trees on Air Quality

Cooling Communities - Energy Savings - EPA

Video Resources

The following educational videos are available on loan from Our City Forest. For video loan inquiries contact the Our City Forest office at (408) 99-TREES.

Our City Forest
In Celebration of Trees
How to Plant a Tree
Planting a Tree Successfully
Trees in Any Language

Our City Forest Fact Sheets

Benefits of Trees

How to Buy a Healthy Tree

Crisis - Trees in Cities

Trees and the Question of Water

The Right Tree in the Right Place

How to Plant a Tree

Treeless Paper - Kenaf

Non-English Language Materials

Brochures in Tagalog, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Spanish

How to Plant a Tree - Multilingual video

Planting Fact Sheets - Spanish

Available For Purchase
Check the OCF Storesection:

One Green Tree comic book


Tree Poems

Tree Poems for Your Enjoyment

What does he plant who plants a tree?
He plants the friend of sun and sky;
He plants the flag of breezes free;
The shaft of beauty, towering high;
He plants a home to heaven high;
He plants a home to heaven anigh
For song and mother-croon of bird
In hushed and happy twilight heard–
The treble of heaven's harmony–
These things he plants who plants a tree

By Henry Cuyler Bunner (1855-1896) American writer





A tree
Predestined to beauty.
Blown leaves. Antiquity.
Light lost. Light found

By Vernon Watkins (1906-1967) Welsh poet

The elm is scattering
Its little leaves
Of sweet smells
From a white sky!

By William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) American physician and writer




One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and good
Than all the sages can.

By William Wordsworth (1770-1850) English poet

Is there a thing more sweet
Thank thus to sit – my feet
Deep in this forest-pool
So clear, and ah! So cool,
Hid from the sun-sick noon?

By John Todhunter (1839-1916) Irish doctor and poet




The trees throw up their singing leaves, and climb
Spray over spray. They break through time.
Their roots lash through the clay. They lave
The earth, and wash along the ground;
They burst in green wave over wave,
Fly in a blossom of light foam;
Rank following windy rank they come;
They flood the plain,
Swill through the valley, top the mound,
Flow over the low hill,
Curl round
The bases of the mountains, fill
Their crevices, and stain
Their ridges green.…

By Harold Munro (1879-1932) English writer

Let me stand in the heart of a beech tree,
With great boughs all sinewed and whorled
about me. And just for a moment catch a
Glimpse of primeval time that breathes
Forgotten within this busy hurrying world.

By Stephanie June Sorrell (B. 1956) English poet


I think that I shall never see
A poem as lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast.

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray.

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems as made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

By Joyce Kilmer


To Plant a Tree

If closer to God I wished to be,
I think that I should plant a tree.
A tiny seed placed in the ground,
With all its needs found all around.
The rain to drink, the air to breathe,
The ground to lay upon and weave
Its tiny roots beginning now
Will search their home for strength to grow
Up towards the light of God's blue sky.
So if you were to ask me why
I thought of trees and God this way,
My answer is simple I would say.
A bridge between the earth

By Kelly Francies


The Swing

How do you like to go up in a Swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it is the
Pleassantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the water
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle are
All over the countryside-

Till I look down on the garden Green,
Down on the roof so brown
Up in the air I go flying again
Up in the air and down!

By Robert Louis Stevenson


Tree in the Hollow

There's a tree in the hollow that shades the land
They meet there on Sundays, hand in hand
Words not need spoken, as they lay in the grass
Closing their eyes, through their hearts love does pass

They days filled with dreaming, soon they will wed
A future of love, and children ahead
A life filled with sunshine and love with no end
And this, their passion, God's blessing to them

He waits in the hollow, his heart racing fast
A ring for her finger, he will give her at last
He looks to the sun, her smile on his mind
Forever at last, all the waiting behind

Now the day turns to night and heavy is his heart
She's been sent away, for a fresh start
Her father has plans for this once bride to be
And he waits in the hollow, by the old shade tree.

By Debbie Mitchell




If I can let you go
as leaves let go their leaves,
so casually, one by one.

If I can come to know
what they do know.
That fall is the release, the consummation.
Then fear of time and the uncertain fruit
would not distain these Autumn skies
so distant and aloof.

If I can face the dark with open eyes
and call it seasonal, not strange or harsh.
For love itself may need a time to sleep.
Lose what I lose to keep what I can keep.
The strong root alive under the snow.

Love will endure, if I can let you go.

By May Sarton



Useful Links

The following links are some valuable online resources:
(the links will open the site in a new window)


San Jose Urban Forest
Tree issues and which government office to contact for help:
Pictures of San Jose then and now:


Other Urban Forestry Websites
California Releaf:
CA Dept of Forestry and Fire Protection:
International Society of Arboriculture - Western Chapter:
Trees are Good - ISA:
US Forest Service:
Center for Urban Forest Research:
Urban Forest Ecosystems Institute:
Tree Care Industry Association:
Arbor Day Foundation:


Information About Oaks
California Oaks Foundation:
Sudden Oak Death - USDA:


Other Urban Forestry Groups
Canopy (Palo Alto):
Friends of the Urban Forest (San Francisco):
Sacramento Tree Foundation:

Tree Identification and Information

Tree Identification by internet or smart phone

Select a Tree by Urban Forest Ecosystems Institute (tree information and specs)

Best Practices

Best Practices from Model Cities

Plans & Policies


Public-Private Partnerships

  • City of Sacramento and the Sacramento Tree Foundation:
    Check out the Greenprint Program that promotes regional sustainability and livability goals by expanding urban forests and optimizing the benefits of tree canopies.
  • New York City and Trees New York
    Check out their "Citizen Pruner" course that teaches residents about the care of young and newly planted trees. 
  • City of Fresno and Tree Fresno
  • City of San Jose and Our City Forest of course!

Tree Inventories

By Rachel Swaby

The Urban Forest Mapping Project is infoporn for the eco set. The open-source database, which launched Wednesday, gives anyone access to all sorts of information about 140,000 public trees in San Francisco. Believe it or not, there's actually a lot to track about a tree -- type, location, permit records, nasty parasites and miscellaneous pruning issues. Oh, and all the graffiti tags.

But that's just the start: Roughly 80 percent of the U.S. population either lives or works in urban environments, and local governments often struggle with tracking and maintaining their foliage. Typically -- as previously was the case in San Francisco -- troops of volunteers hit the streets with fill-in-the-blank paper forms and old-fashioned maps. Oftentimes, the crew would expect to find a group of trees based on historical records, but instead would find the trees missing (or, perhaps, incorrectly mapped in the first place). Then, there would be the two hours of data entry to set the record straight.

Now, info can be uploaded using handhelds and laptops through a web-based interface from the field. That makes for an annual savings of about $41,000, according to Amber Bieg, the development officer at Friends of the Urban Forest, a nonprofit dedicated to caring for the city's foliage. The organization worked with San Francisco's Bureau of Urban Forestry and software maker Autodesk to build the database.

The project came about when a proposal from Friends of the Urban Forest to develop an online tree-mapping tool landed on the same government desk as an offer from Autodesk. The Bay Area company was looking for a test case for its open-source MapGuide project. The result is an interface a la Google Maps -- color illustrations over aerial photography that's easily recognizable and packed with information.

For instance, using Stratum (for Street Tree Resource Analysis Tool for Urban Forest Managers), MapGuide can calculate the benefit (in dollars or environmental impact) of each tree. Homeowners can find out how a bottlebrush can raise their property value. There are also other bits of info: In the Mission District, for instance, certain trees will do better -- sequestering more storm water, reducing energy costs, etc.

Contact Us

(408) 998-7337
1590 Las Plumas Ave
San Jose, CA 95133
Nursery: 1000 Spring St.