Arbor Day in Balboa Park

Friends of Balboa Park has brought back the tradition of celebrating Arbor Day in Balboa Park. On Friday, April 28, 2017 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., we will be planting and dedicating a new grove of trees in Balboa Park. Location to be determined shortly.


Dedications are available for a one-time $500 donation to Friends of Balboa Park. Donors and honorees receive a certificate, tree specimen summary, map noting the tree location, and a temporary tag for the day of the celebration.

Donations made in support of Arbor Day of $100 or more will be listed in our Arbor Day event program. Call the office to reserve your tree today: (619) 232-2282 or email:

Wollemia Nobilis Pine

Wollemia Pine


Ginko Biloba

Dedicate a tree


Greening the Park

ArborDay2014JeanPalmer&RooseveltStudentsSan Diego’s first Arbor Day celebration was on Saint Patrick’s day in 1904. Kate Sessions helped to organize that first planting, a community event attended by 3500 school children who came to what was then named “City Park” to plant 60 pine and cypress trees. Mary B. Coulston, then secretary of the Chamber’s Park Improvement Committee, solicited messages from Governor Pardee and President Theodore Roosevelt to be read to the children, thereby insuring avid press interest. To read more about Balboa Park’s original Arbor Day, click here to read the full article from “The Trees of Balboa Park: 1910,” from the Journal of San Diego History, by Nancy Carol Carter.

Pictured at right is Jean Palmer, great grand daughter of Arbor Day Founder, J. Sterling Morton.  Jean was our special guest in 2014 and she is pictured planting a native California Oak tree in Zoro Garden with school children from Roosevelt Middle School.  Zoro Garden was host to our 2014 Arbor Day, where we planted 12 drought tolerant native species.   Click on our Arbor Day program archives below for more information on this and prior Arbor Day celebrations in Balboa Park:


Since 2008, Friends of Balboa Park brought back the annual celebration by planting Trees in areas designated by Park & Recreation Department that are a part of the Balboa Park Tree Management and Reforestation Plan that includes maintenance, conservation, and replanting guidelines.  Tree groves planted and funded by Friends of Balboa Park since 2008 are located in all areas of the Park:

  • (2008) along Park Blvd near the War Memorial Building Lawn
  •  (2009) on the west side just east of the Lawn Bowling green between  Balboa Park Drive and 6th Ave.
  •  (2010) along Golf Course Drive across the street from the Golden Hill Recreation Center
  •  (2011) at Morley Field near Texas and Upas Street and along the upper east rim of Palm Canyon along Pan American Road West behind the International Cottages.
  •  (2012) at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion around the outer perimeter
  •  (2013) at Quince and 6th Streets on the west side
  •  (2014) at Zoro Garden Gulch
  • (2015) at War Memorial Building Lawn
  • (2016) at Pepper Grove Playground

Help us Purchase Trees for Arbor Day!

Your tax deductible contribution can help us plant trees for future generations. Contact the office to find out how you can become a Balboa Park Tree donor.

PoinsettiaFriends of Balboa Park