Claremont : Less Water to Help Oaks

The city is celebrating Arbor Day by cutting the water rations of its stately, historic oaks at Blaisdell Park.

Park planner Dale Kuehnert said some oaks in the park are declining because of over-watering that began with installation of a drip irrigation system 15 years ago. To improve the health of the oaks and to save water during the drought, the city has adjusted the irrigation system and will observe Arbor Day by inviting the public to spread mulch under the trees in a ceremony at 1 p.m. Sunday (at the park on Oak Park Drive, east of College Avenue.

The mulch will include wood chipped from Christmas trees collected from residents after the holidays. Kuehnert said oak seedlings will be distributed to those who prefer to observe Arbor Day with a more traditional activity: planting trees. Arbor Day is March 7.