Tree People

Last weekend, I was on my way to go camping in the San Gabriel Mountains just north of L.A., when I saw signs on the Angeles Crest Highway that said, simply, Tree People. So, of course, I followed them. I found lots of people and, yes, lots of trees. Fifty volunteers had come out to plant 150 ponderosa and Coulter pines, and to water the trees that the group planted lasted year.

Tree People was started by teenagers in the mid-70s and now has about forty full-time employees who work out of yurts in Coldwater Canyon Park. The group has become a model for tree planting initiatives throughout the country and is also involved in Mayor Villaraigosa’s Million Tree Initiative which, you guessed it, aims to plant a million trees throughout the city. (They’re currently up to 41,269.)

It’s heart-warming, given the recent wildfires, the perpetual smog, and the city’s dedicated passion for internal combustion.

And, of course, if you show up to a Tree People event, you might even meet a green Hollywood hunkeroo.

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About Brianne Goodspeed


  1. Of course you followed the sign! Too funny Brianne. I hadn’t heard of that group….sounds awesome. I planted two trees in my yard this year, and I’m going to try to plant two more next year, and keep going. It’s a little thing, but in ten years, I’ll have planted 20 trees! Of course, I will have run out of space in my tiny yard, but I’m guess I’ll have moved by then…

  2. Socialpyramid says:

    Tree People is old-school! They’ve done really great work, especially needed in a city where the LA River is now little more than a concrete tube, dry much of the year.

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