Glendale qualified for the Tree City U.S.A. Award for the past 25 years because the city spends $2 per capita on trees and maintenance, has a tree ordinance that meets the National Arbor Day Foundation standards and a proclamation from the City Council that recognizes Arbor Day, and celebrates the holiday with a community event.
Glendale has come a long way from what it used to look like in the 1930s and 40s, said City Manager and 10-time tree donor Jim Starbird.
“We didn’t inherit this urban forest; we grew it,” Starbird said. “Frankly, back in the 30s and 40s, it was stark.”
Gladys Wymore, the city’s Arbor Day chairwoman, agrees.
“It was just barren land, a lot of maybe orange groves,” Wymore said.
Wymore has planted and donated more trees across Glendale for her friends and family than she can remember in the past 16 years.
She recently planted a navel orange tree at Casa Adobe for Glendale Beautiful member Doyle Kutch for his 70th birthday and a Coast Live Oak tree for Starbird at Glendale’s first community-run vegetable garden on 870 Monterey Road. Funds raised from the Arbor Day celebration will be enough for 100 new trees to be planted in Glendale by fall, Wymore said.
When a resident donates a tree to the Glendale Beautiful program, Glendale Parks and Recreation places the tree in the area where it might be needed. Often, tree donors request where they would like their trees planted.
“If we have a person that lives near one of the many parks in Glendale, [the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department] tries to honor that request and put it in the park,” Wymore said.
Once the tree is planted, donors receive a letter from the department stating where the tree is planted. Everyone who has given a tree is notified and Glendale Beautiful takes a photo, Wymore said.
People can still purchase a tree and donate it for someone by calling Wymore at (818) 246-3634.