The County’s Comprehensive Tree Program will replace weakened trees in San Diego parks. Photo: County Parks and Recreation

SAN DIEGO–The Board of Supervisors Wednesday approved a $2 million expansion of a program to remove and replace weakened trees in county parks.

The action authorizes the Department of Parks and Recreation to advertise and award the contract for its Comprehensive Tree Program, according to Michelle Mowad, County of San Diego Communications Office.

The allocation includes the purchase of 3,500 trees of various species and sizes, along with other materials and services associated with the planting of new trees, and removal of dead or diseased trees.

Trees will be planted at parks that have suffered the biggest loss to their tree canopies. Parks set to receive the largest number of trees include Dos Picos County Park in Ramona, San Elijo Lagoon in Cardiff and William Heise County Park in Julian. Many trees have been lost in recent years due to effects of drought, the gold-spotted oak borer and the shot hole borer.

“Trees are an integral part of our parks system. They house ecosystems, support biodiversity, serve as climate buffers to moderate temperatures and wind, absorb sound, prevent soil erosion and slow stormwater runoff,” said Parks and Recreation Director Brian Albright. “They also offer shade, reduce sun exposure and enhance outdoor recreation areas for park guests.”

Trees identified for current and future plantings include sycamore, pine, Englemann oak, incense cedar and cottonwood.

Planting is expected to begin early spring 2018.