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Assigned Staff Plus Contractor Care for 20,000 Trees

Organization. Incorporated in 1956, the City of Garden Grove has been responsible for street trees for 48 years. In addition, the City contracts a professional tree-trimming service to assist in managing the nearly 20,000 publicly-owned trees in Garden Grove. The Street Trees Section effectively manages the City trees by emphasizing flexibility and professionalism.

Flexibility. The value of a year-round, broadly-trained, and highly responsive staff cannot be over-stated. The Street Trees Section has proven that the versatility, familiarity, dedication, and consistency of an in-house work force is both economical and desirable. Staff members are able to respond quickly in times of storms and emergencies, and have maintained a long-term commitment to the City’s Urban Forestry Program. A majority of the staff are certified in confined space entry techniques and annually perform the inspection of nearly 30 miles of underground storm drains, in addition to their tree maintenance duties.

Professionalism. The Street Trees Section takes pride in their professionalism and the high quality of work they produce, and are committed to a high standard of customer service. Staff members are trained in the proper use of equipment and tools required to protect the safety of the public, themselves, and the urban forest for which they care. The latest and best arborist’s techniques in maintaining trees in Garden Grove are part of the continuing education of section staff members. Every other week, staff members assemble for a combination safety and customer service briefing to reaffirm safety concepts and to learn new ways to work safely while providing excellent service.

The City of Garden Grove’s Street Tree Program Plan, and computerized tree inventory system are just a few of the tools which support staff's efforts in the managing the City's Urban Forest.

Public Opinion. The Street Trees Section, routinely solicits the public’s opinion on their performance and request comments through a “Customer Survey” door-hanger. Neighborhood meetings are organized when citizens have specific concerns. Community involvement in the caring for public trees, by both individuals and groups, is encouraged through a variety of activities, such as Adopt-a-Park, Volunteer Connection Day, and Garden Grove Pride.

Budget Reductions. As a result of reductions in State revenue to the City, the Public Works Department has reduced its services by 10 percent. These necessary reductions have resulted specifically in the elimination of staffing in the Street Trees Section of the Streets and Street Trees Division. This affects how and to what extent the City’s urban forest is managed. Two significant elements of this reduction are: 1) no new street trees will be planted at this time, other than those in the Adopt a Tree Program and Memorial Tree Program; and 2) the frequency of a residential tree's trim cycle has been increased. As economic factors improve, the entire tree replacement program and original residential tree trim cycle frequencies will be restored. Until then, we ask you for your patience and thank you for your understanding