By Marissa Perlman

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The city of trees wants more trees, to help fight climate change and lower energy costs in underserved neighborhoods.

But walking into a weekend of high heat and drought, is that a good idea?

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The Sacramento sun beats down through the canopy of trees in East Sacramento. It’s something Valerie Ramirez says you won’t see in her South Sacramento neighborhood.

“There are no trees, as you can see. I have palm trees, but we hardly get any shade from those,” said Ramirez.

Drone 13 shows the difference between the lush trees covering east Sacramento’s Fab Forties neighborhood. While in Ramirez’s neighborhood, the homes and neighbors have little to no tree cover.

The “Trees Act” would set aside $50 million a year for five years to plant 300,000 trees across the city. The shade trees would go in neighborhoods lacking trees, often lower-income neighborhoods, helping clean the air and lower energy costs.

The Sacramento Tree Foundation says a tree canopy can provide a 20-degree difference. But this initiative will need water, so is it a good idea during a drought?

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City leaders say yes.

Alex Binck, a community forester with the Sacramento Tree Foundation said, “If we choose the right trees it doesn’t need a lot of water.”

He says each tree planted would need the equivalent of two extra toilet flushes three times a week. As of now, city trees are not subjected to Sacramento’s watering restrictions during the drought.

These valley oaks could grow up to 60 feet tall, but it will take time.

Dr. Jessica Sanders, executive director of the Sacramento Tree Foundation said, “We’re not just correcting a historical wrong, but we’re working with the community to figure out where those trees should grow.”

Twenty-five years from now there will be hope for growth to help the climate and the communities who need it.

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The grant money would go to local governments and nonprofits to keep those trees healthy for years to come. It’s through a cost-share grant program funded by the US Department of Energy.

Marissa Perlman