Learning by Leading students install tree tags
Marvin Lopez and Doris Wu, students in the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden Learning by Leading™ Arboretum Ambassador program, hang an oversized tag on the UC Davis campus to help promote the benefits of trees and remind our community of their importance. Tree tags will continue to be placed throughout the UC Davis campus and the city of Davis into the summer months as part of a collaboration between Tree Davis and the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden. (Photo/Dawson Diaz)

‘Spruced up:’ Tree Tags Inform and Engage the Community

Our community’s urban forest provides public health, environmental and economic benefits to Davis community members every day. To highlight this important resource,

Tree Davis and the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden have teamed up to install educational tree tags across the Davis landscape.

“Our trees need to be celebrated for all the benefits they bring our community,” said Erin Donley Marineau, executive director of Tree Davis. “These tags are reminders and also invitations for everyone to share their appreciation.”

For the next couple of months, 50 trees, spanning the city of Davis and the UC Davis campus will be home to informational tags inviting passersby to engage in appreciation of the trees they encounter and learn about the health and well-being benefits the trees confer.

Tree tag QR code

The QR code on the tree tags leads to a webpage where folks can discover more about the health benefits of trees and/or share a message of gratitude.


a Learning by Leading student installs a tree tag
Alexis Silva, student in the Arboretum and Public Garden's Learning by Leading™ Arboretum Ambassador program provides some Nature Rx bling to a campus tree. Bilingual messaging about the mental health and well-being benefits of trees will decorate 25 campus trees and 25 city trees over the course of the next couple months and remain in place well into the summer. (Photo/Dawson Diaz)

Using research and literature as the foundation for their messages, the tree team – including Tree Davis staff, UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden staff and interns from their innovative environmental leadership program, Learning by Leading™ – seeks to make the essential, yet sometimes unseen, benefits of trees tangible to community members.

“With this project, we hope to raise the visibility to the existing benefits of Davis’s canopy with messages that support ‘Nature Rx,'” said Stacey Parker, director of public horticulture & engagement for the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden. "Getting outside and enjoying the environment is akin to writing yourself a prescription for improved physical and mental health.”

Throughout spring and summer, growing numbers of trees will continue to don tags throughout the city and on campus. 

“Our city’s urban forest is contiguous across property boundaries and benefits campus and community residents alike,” said Marineau.

The messages – in both English and Spanish – share ways that mature trees help clean the air, calm our minds, inspire us, soothe stress, boost our mood, prepare our minds for learning and help us heal. Observers are also welcome to leave a digital message for the tree via a QR code.

“So far the trees have received some very heartfelt thank yous,” said Parker. “It’s beautiful that people are taking time to share their gratitude. It’s great for individual health, and I’d like to think, the trees appreciate it too!”

Partial funding for this project came from Congregation Bet Haverim and Genentech. To learn more about ways to get involved with nature in our urban landscape, visit the websites of the tree tag team: treedavis.org and arboretum.ucdavis.edu.

We are very grateful to our partners and sponsors for making this work possible.


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