Wells Fargo to plant 160 street trees for 160th anniversary

$40K grant to Friends of the Urban Forest will help “green” San Francisco

MARCH 21, 2012 — Wells Fargo contributed $40,000 to Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF), a non-profit organization, to fund the planting of 160 street trees in San Francisco in honor of the company’s 160th anniversary.  Volunteer planting crews, including Wells Fargo team members, will plant the trees under FUF’s guidance over the course of several months, commencing with a kickoff event on Saturday, March 24, during which more than 50 trees will be planted in the Excelsior neighborhood.

Henry Wells and William Fargo founded Wells Fargo in March, 1852.  The financial services company is San Francisco’s largest private employer with more than 8,000 team members working in the City. As a responsible corporate citizen, Wells Fargo has donated more than $40 million to Bay Area schools and nonprofits over the last two years.

“In celebration of our 160 year anniversary, Wells Fargo is glad to provide funding to plant 160 trees in San Francisco,” said Tracy Curtis, president of Wells Fargo’s San Francisco market. “Improving the quality of life of San Franciscans happens in many forms—and the planting of trees starting in the Excelsior district this weekend is definitely one of them.”

“Wells Fargo’s commitment to greening San Francisco benefits all who live, work and visit here,” said Dan Flanagan, FUF’s executive director.  “This grant gives a tremendous boost to our efforts to expand and maintain San Francisco’s tree canopy.”  Though San Francisco already has approximately 105,000 street trees, FUF estimates that space is available for approximately 70,000 more.

Only 12% of San Francisco’s total land area is covered by trees, which is less tree coverage than other Bay Area cities such as San Jose (15%) and Oakland (21%), and less than a third of the tree coverage of Atlanta (37%), Austin (39%) and Portland, Oregon (42%).

FUF plants street trees in neighborhoods in which property owners have requested trees for at least 25 properties.  Each “Tree Package” includes a tree, permit processing, site preparation including concrete removal, and two post-planting tree care visits.  Most of the costs are subsidized; tree recipients pay $105 per Tree Package and a one-time $30 membership fee.  A tree planting is a community event that involves the tree recipients, FUF volunteers, and FUF staff working side by side, concluding with a potluck lunch.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.3 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com and wachovia.com), and other distribution channels across North America and internationally. We want to help all of our customers succeed financially and create long-term economic growth and quality of life for everyone in our communities. In 2011, the Company invested $213.5 million in grants in 19,000 nonprofits, and team members contributed more than 1.5 million volunteer hours around the country. For more information, please visit: www.wellsfargo.com/about/csr.

About Friends of the Urban Forest

Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF) helps individuals and neighborhood groups to plant and care for street trees and sidewalk gardens in San Francisco.  Since 1981, FUF has planted more than 46,000 trees (more than all the trees in Golden Gate Park) to reduce the city’s tree shortage.  By greening the streets of San Francisco, FUF supports the health and livability of the urban environment.