Carbon Sequestration

The Carbon Sequestration strategy in the City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) aims to facilitate the process of removing carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas (GHG), from the atmosphere through natural or artificial means. This is referred to as carbon sequestration. Trees, algae, and other vegetation are referred to as “carbon sinks” because they naturally take in atmospheric CO2 through their respiration processes. An important way our community can improve its carbon sequestration potential is by increasing the number of trees planted and by maintaining a healthy urban tree canopy.

Implementation of the Carbon Sequestration strategy is estimated to reduce the City’s GHG emissions by 5 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) by 2020 and 66 MTCO2e by 2030. Explore the sections below to learn about the City’s planned and ongoing actions to achieve these GHG emissions reductions.

Urban Forestry

Urban Forest Management Program

The City of Encinitas actively maintains a thriving urban forest of City-owned and maintained trees. City trees include trees in the public right of way, typically along streets and sidewalks, and trees within City parks. New trees are continually being added to the City's urban forest and established City trees are maintained regularly. In addition to carbon sequestration, trees provide many benefits to our community such as improving water quality, reducing stormwater runoff, regulating temperature, reducing energy use in buildings, cleaning the air, enhancing property values, supporting human health, and providing wildlife habitat. 

We recognize the City’s urban forest as one of our greatest natural resources. City leaders and staff have made our trees a priority and they are dedicated to the continued planting, protection, and maintenance of Encinitas’ urban forest. The departments of Public Works and Parks and Recreation have an established Urban Forest Management Program (UFMP) which closely follows the City’s UFMP Administrative Manual and incorporates the City’s Urban Tree Panting Program. In 2018, the City hired a City Arborist to support the implementation of the UFMP and oversee the care of the City’s trees.

The City tracks the number of net new City trees added to the City's tree inventory each year. The total number of net new trees is equal to the number of new trees planted minus the number of trees lost annually. Tree removal is avoided whenever possible; however, tree removal may be necessary when a tree cannot recover from disease or poses a risk to public safety.
Net Trees Net Number of Trees

Urban Forestry

City trees include trees in the public right of way, typically along streets and sidewalks, and trees growing in City parks. The City's Climate Action Plan (CAP) set a goal of planting 150 net new City tree by 2020 and 100 net new City trees annually after that, for a total of 1,150 net new trees planted by 2030.

At the end of 2020, the City’s urban forest included 21,504 City trees in the public right of way. Trees in the right of way are proactively cared for and maintained by the City’s Public Works Department. Trees in the City’s numerous parks are maintained by the City’s Parks and Recreation Department. Between 2012 and 2020, the City planted a total of 843 net new trees, averaging about 94 net new trees planted per year. These trees were planted in the City’s right of way and within City parks.

Urban Forestry

How You Can Help

Plant the Perfect Tree on Your Property Using the City’s Tree Selection and Planting Guide
Learn About the Trees Planted on Your Street
Learn More About the City’s Urban Forest Management Program

Status of CAP Implementation