California Arbor Week Kicked Off with Tree Planting at the Governor's Mansion

Sacramento- As trees across the state begin to blossom for spring, California's Arbor Week emphasizes the importance trees have on communities and their residents. Today, officials from CAL FIRE and California ReLeaf, an organization working to preserve, protect and enhance California's urban forests, announced the winners of the statewide Arbor Week poster contest.

“It's critical to use water wisely when caring for trees, especially during the drought emergency, so trees can continue to provide the many social and environmental benefits they offer us, said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE director and California's state forester. Arbor Week is a time when we teach students that trees are a vital part of a healthy environment and one of our state's most precious natural resources.

Students from across California in grades 3, 4 and 5 were asked to create original artwork based on the theme “Trees and Water, Sources of Life. Over 400 posters were submitted.

This year's poster contest winners were 3rd-grader Aliyah Ploysangnam from Temple City, CA; 4th-grader Nicole Weber from Temecula, CA; 5th-grader Miriam Cuinche-Romero from Santa Monica, CA; and winner of the Imagination Award, 5th-grader Matthew Liberman from Santa Monica, CA.

This year, the Sacramento Tree Foundation, California ReLeaf, and CAL FIRE planted a Strawberry Madrone (Arbutus Marina), which is drought tolerant, adapted to the urban environment and wildlife friendly. The tree was planted at the Governor's Mansion in Sacramento during the annual Arbor Week kick off event.

As part of the department's mission, CAL FIRE is charged with protecting California's forests by maintaining the sustainability of the state's natural resources including both urban and wildland forests. CAL FIRE is encouraging everyone to be a part of California Arbor Week by planting a tree. It's important that you carefully plan before you plant a tree to ensure that your tree is drought tolerant and properly placed to avoid growing into power lines, buildings or other infrastructure. Get more planting tips on the CAL FIRE website at For more pictures from the event visit our Flickr album.

For more on Arbor Week visit


Watch the Full Press Conference and Tree Planting