New Los Osos group is launching a tree-planting effort — and it starts this weekend

A newly formed group, Greening Los Osos, wants to encourage the community to participate in a widespread tree-planting effort in a bid to fight global warming and beautify the coastal community.

“We’ve lost so many trees in Los Osos in the past decade from development, disease, drought and now removal of a once plentiful water source — hundreds of septic tanks,” organization president Tony Salome said. With the tanks gone, trees can no longer feed off the leach lines.

“We want to bring back the canopy we once had,” Salome added.

Besides the iconic pigmy oaks of Los Osos, much of the tree canopy in the town did not sprout by itself.

In the 1920s and 30s, in an effort to draw people to the new town, developers planted some 20,000 trees in the Baywood district.

Visitors to Baywood still enjoy standing under those magnificent 70- to 80-year-old trees, many of them Monterey cypress, native to California.

“We think Los Osos is ready to plant new oaks, cypress and other drought-resistant trees all over town,” Salome said.

This Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m., the group will hold an inaugural event at Sea Pines Golf Course in conjunction with Earth Day and Sea Pines’ Barefoot on the Grass concert featuring Damon Castillo.

Attendees can talk to tree experts and see tree varieties, pick up free seedlings and view children’s Earth Day artwork. They can also learn about planting and caring for trees and enter to win a ready-to-plant Monterey Cypress tree.

Sea Pines itself will be planting a cypress as as part of the event to encourage Los Osos residents to participate, donate and volunteer.

The golf course lost more than 100 pine trees over the past decade, mostly due to pine disease, said owner Gary Setting, who backs the community effort. To reach Greening Los Osos, email the group at GreeningLosOsos@gmail.com.

John Lindt is the editor of sierra2thesea.net.