The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

Staff Spotlight
Sai Karne
Sai Karne
Staff Reporter

Sai Karne is a sophomore at Sage Creek and is a new Staff Reporter on The Sage. In his free time, he loves going to the gym and playing basketball.

Learning About Ramadan
The Sage: April 17, 2024
The Sage: April 17, 2024
The Sage: April 10, 2024
The Sage: April 10, 2024
Dr. Churchill speaks to students on the first day of Ally Week. More and more students joined in as the week went on.
Sage Creek GSA Hosts Ally Week

To Help Our Community, Plant a Tree

Sam Carroll
A tree sits on the top of a slope between the 3000 Building and the Teachers’ Parking Lot. Jacaranda trees, one of the most popular trees in San Diego, are covered in purple flowers in the spring and create a gorgeous canopy over local streets. They have also been used as an indicator for climate change, raising alarms when they bloom too early.

We need more trees throughout our cities, schools and neighborhoods. Trees are a necessary part of the environment as they keep the planet clean and healthy. The tall, typically green and brown plants have somewhere around 73,000 different varieties and can produce fruit, nuts and colorful flowers. 

Not only do trees provide food, but they also keep the crime rates in neighborhoods down by roughly 48%, increase property values and reduce the risk of flooding. Anyone can plant a tree. Even if a person is not willing to pay, in some areas such as New York, a resident can call the city and have a free tree planted in their yard, the species specially picked for them. 

A line of trees grows on a grassy hill between the 1000 and 2000 buildings at Sage Creek. Eucalyptus trees, although very common in San Diego, are not native but originate from Australia, New Guinea, the Philippines and Indonesia.

While Sage Creek does have trees on campus, they are mostly in a few small clusters and not substantial enough to prevent flooding or improve students’ time on school grounds. With the recent rains, having more tree canopies would protect students from rainfall and produce clean air.

There is a perfect tree variety for everyone. If someone had limited space, they could find a tree with a small root system. If they wanted more shade, a large tree with a wide canopy such as an oak would be perfect. 

According to the U.S. Forest Service, a 10% increase in tree canopies showed a 12% decrease in crime, and it has also been proven that there is a 56% decrease in violent crimes in buildings with large amounts of plants versus a building with sparse vegetation. It is incredibly beneficial to plant trees if only to reduce crime in neighborhoods, especially violent ones.

Trees also increase property value from 5% to 18%, according to GreenBlue Urban, which can mean up to $120,000 on a $675,000 home. It may seem futile to plant a young tree, but depending on how long a family will own a home, it can very well be worth the wait.

 A dogwood tree, for example, takes only about five to seven years to grow, and once it is mature, a flower-covered canopy will provide shade and garner around $7,000 in property value.

Another benefit of planting trees is that their canopies catch rain, allowing the soil to absorb water as it falls, preserving ground cover and preventing flooding. If the canopy is large enough, the rain may never fall to the ground and will evaporate on leaves after a storm. Compared to a lawn of grass, trees can absorb 10 inches of rain an hour while a lawn can only infiltrate 4 inches of rain in the same time frame. 

Along with preventing flooding, tree roots grip soil, keeping the earth in place while water would otherwise drag it away. This keeps landscapes from eroding and lowers the danger of mudslides.

A tree grows next to the 3000 building at Sage Creek, its branches reaching over a vine-ridden concrete wall. The most common tree varieties in San Diego are palm, jacaranda and eucalyptus.

On the comfort side of their advantages, trees also provide shade, which creates a sense of calm and coolness. Trees foster a perfect environment for kids to play in and recreational activities such as yoga, sports and picnics. Having shade can help reduce the risk of sunburn and other heat-related health issues. 

Families with children would especially benefit, as trees are perfect places for climbing, treehouses and play areas.

The Sage Creek campus is well-known for its impressive architecture, and the addition of trees would amplify that. More trees should be planted at Sage Creek to improve student and staff experiences on campus along with keeping the grounds flood-free and safe.

To rising juniors, consider the benefits of planting trees on campus as part of a Genius Project. Creating a more beautiful and safe campus for generations of students to come is an exceptional goal that portrays passion and care for the future.

The advantages of having mature trees in a neighborhood or city are broad and worthwhile, such as providing clean air and keeping an area crime-free. Plant a tree and convince your neighbors to join in, protecting and improving the neighborhood all in one. 

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Comments (3)

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  • G

    GraysonFeb 29, 2024 at 12:11 pm

    In what way do trees stop crime? In the article it just says a decrease in crime happens when there are more trees. A factual reason is never given. Is there an explanation?

    • S

      Steve LMar 4, 2024 at 10:39 am

      Seems more like correlation than causation to me

      • C

        Connor C.Mar 5, 2024 at 10:58 am

        It is certainly just correlation, but I personally believe that even small changes to an ecosystem can encourage further improvement. Trees may not directly cause a decrease in crime, but the focus that planting trees may require of a community can renew focus on more directly causal issues as well. Places with less trees are likely to have less access to social services and certain resources, especially in rural high deserts (my hometown, for instance) and plains, and the attention to specific environmental improvements can develop more analytical and progress-minded communities. Trees are just a great starting point.