SLO’s Arbor Day moves to fall with activities on Saturday

San Luis Obispo’s annual Arbor Day event, previously held in the spring, will take place Saturday at the city’s Fire Station No. 1. It will feature family-friendly tree planting around the station and the newly constructed World Trade Center Memorial.

The event, from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at 2160 Santa Barbara St., will also include a brief ceremony as city officials accept a Tree City USA award from the national Arbor Day Foundation and a display of about 50 winning entries submitted by local elementary school students from the Arbor Day art contest.

Winners will be presented with certificates and T-shirts by members of the City Council and the city tree committee.

City arborist Ron Combs said children and their families will then be invited to plant trees in locations around the fire station.

The trees will serve different functions, Combs said, including blocking parts of the station from direct sunlight, as well as mitigating the August removal of a large tree on nearby Emily Street.

City staff will assist in the tree planting and teach planting techniques.

Combs said the city will continue to hold the annual event in the fall as the season’s shorter, cooler days decrease watering needs and trees have a chance to settle before experiencing a long, dry summer.

Members of the city’s urban forestry staff and the Arbor Day mascot, Annie Oak Leaf, will be at Thursday’s Downtown SLO Farmers’ Market to promote the weekend event.