You can recognize a person who has acclimated to San Francisco’s benign unto confounding climate because they chuckle when talking about seasons. Sometimes it seems we have two - the dominant season that cycles each week through temperate and cold, and the glorious season of SeptOctober, our summer during which we do our best to store memories of sweaty heat in our cells to last us until the following Fall. In a climate with 4 distinct seasons, it is unusual to absentmindedly talk of today as summer when it is winter, but here in San Francisco, it is entirely possible and rather common to have to pause to think what season it is.
Against this backdrop of seasonal confusion, I have been delighting in the surge of interactions I’ve had with neighbors and customers during the last three weeks as our dwarf almond tree has opened more and more pink-white blooms, proudly and loudly declaring Springtime at the corner of 25th and Mission Streets. The visual and olfactory beauty that is an almond tree in bloom would be so wherever that tree were to grow, but here at this noisy urban corner, that little 5 foot tall tree is determined to help us know and celebrate that it is Spring. Witnessing people’s joy in beauty feeds my spirit, and it is gratifying to know that a single tree can make such a difference.
If you want to plant a tree, there are a couple of organizations to know about. Friends of the Urban Forest helps people plant and care for street trees. It’s an easy organization to volunteer with, whether you have a sidewalk planting spot to fill or just want to pitch in on a tree planting and meet some neighbors. Just One Tree is dedicated to promoting the value of tree crops in cities worldwide, recognizing that our urban planted landscape makes an important contribution to self-sufficiency and ecological sustainability. Just One Tree’s campaign in San Francisco focuses on lemon trees, with a goal of 12,000 planted and registered. If you already have a lemon tree growing in San Francisco, register it on their website.