Greetings from the Western Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture! My name is Mary Pendleton and here at WCISA, my job is to promote the profession of arboriculture. At WCISA, we know first-hand that trees are good for California’s economy. Not only do tree-related professions employ over 60,000 Californians, but they also add nearly $4 billion to our state’s bottom line—from manufacturing to the goods sold in nurseries to workers’ salaries. Our members have dedicated their lives to trees because they love them and they know what kind of an impact they have on the people in our communities.

As Christmas approaches, you’ve probably been out in your downtown area scoping out gifts for your loved ones. Think of your last shopping experience and try to recall your mood. Chances are the environment around you had a direct effect on your disposition while you shopped. (It’s a scientific fact!) Or maybe you’re more of the online shopping type. If you had a view of the tree-lined streets from your couch while surfing the web, odds are you were in a better mood. (Again…a scientific fact!)

Now wait a minute…I’m not saying that trees are making you spend money. But I am saying that they keep your spirits up, reduce stress, and increase overall happiness. They make your shopping experience a better one, and isn’t that what all business owners strive for?

As you spend time in shopping districts this December, try to notice the trees around you. If they bring you joy, mention it to the shop owner! Maybe even write a letter to your local paper about how we could all use a little stress-reduction this time of year, and that well-maintained trees are a great solution.

We at WCISA are thrilled to be partnering with California Urban Forests Council on the “Invest From the Ground Up” campaign. We know the value of trees like the back of our hands and get such joy from sharing our knowledge with you. So join your fellow Californians today by investing in and supporting the care of our trees and green spaces. They are a gift, after all!