Season 7, Episode 13

Urban Tree Canopy Benefits LA Communities, Some More Than Others

Meet Brent Green, a modern-day “Johnny Appleseed,” who has planted more than 5,000 trees in his lifetime and transformed his neighborhood. He knows first hand how the small act of planting a tree can have a huge impact.

In a special report SoCal Connected explores L.A.’s tree canopy; the 10-million-plus trees that shade more than 20 percent of the city. Trees are a remarkable counter force against the concrete landscape that feeds rising temperatures.

Reporter Nic Cha Kim discovers why our environment and our neighborhoods need more of them.  He meets a few of the passionate people who are planting thousands of trees every year.

We ask why some communities are tree “poor” and other tree “rich.” We see how a small army of passionate people are working to correct the disparity by giving away thousands of trees to families in tree-scarce neighborhoods. We meet non-profit groups, scientists, political leaders and regular citizens who are turning their love of trees into a quiet but growing social movement that is vital to cooling down our environment, cleaning our air and building communities.

This story is part of a special report exploring tree canopies in Southern California. Learn more about tree canopy coverage and what local organizations are doing to encourage communities to participate in tree planting initiatives atkcet.org/treecanopies. On Saturday, April 23, 2016, KCET’s SoCal Connected team planted trees with volunteers and community leaders at Woodley Park in Van Nuys, Calif. The trees are part of a 20-year study to evaluate the resilience of different species to stressors such as high winds, pests, salinity, drought, and heat.