Obama stimulus program provided $600,000 for free trees to wealthy

So Denver gets a bunch of stimulus cash to spend – and they really HAVE to spend it – so they buy a bunch of saplings and go door to door around Denver asking property owners if they would like a free tree planted in their yard.

I’ve been spending a little time reading the US Constitution this morning, and I can’t find any reference to planting trees in Colorado yards… But anyway, here we are.

CBS Denver reports that the Mile High City spent at least $600,000 in federal funds to plant 4,000 trees in the yards of homeowners, sending city workers door-to-door begging people to take the complimentary saplings.

“This fella said, ‘How would you like to have a tree in your yard?’” said John Backlund, the resident of an upscale Denver neighborhood who lives in a house worth over $700,000. …

Because the city’s tree program had no income limit, many were planted in front of million-dollar homes that could have easily afforded the $150 each cost of a sapling.

“It’s open to anybody,” city forester Rob Davis said. “It’s basically if you live in Denver, you want to reduce energy costs, you want to have a tree that can raise your property value, go to the web page to sign up.”

So the federal government increased the United States debt by more than $6 trillion – in part – to fund free trees for folks in Denver and, as it turns out, a lot of other cities. In short, they borrowed a lot of money – in this case “only” $600,000 for Denver – from future generations to provide almost certainly union municipal jobs to install about 4,000 trees.

Get this, they are claiming the trees will somehow provide a noticeable reduction in home energy costs and the homeowners will appreciate it … eventually. Really? I’d like to know how the heck they will be able to prove THAT. Certainly, a tree in the right place might provide shade and reduce a bit of cooling costs, but who says all the trees were placed in the exact right place to provide this unmeasured benefit 15 to 20 years from now?

This was a union payoff. Follow the money. The following is a list of questions – in no particular order – a real journalist would ask. Is anyone asking these questions?


  • Can the City of Denver provide a full accounting of where each tree was planted?
  • What was the maturity level of the trees planted?
  • What was the survival rate of these trees during the first six months? First year?
  • Who determined placement of each tree in the homeowner’s yard?
  • Was the homeowner provided with instructions on how to keep the tree in good health after the initial shock of being planted in a new place?
  • Where where the saplings purchased?
  • How much did the city pay for the saplings?
  • Can the city produce a receipt for the purchase of the saplings?
  • How long was this program available?
  • When was the start and end dates?
  • How many days did it take to install all of the trees?

Inquiring minds want to know…

Remember, when this program ends and the federal government does not give them $600,000 during the next year to plant trees (or whatever) the state and city will cry their federal funding is “being cut.”

4 replies
  1. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    Congress read “The Lorax” and decided to forestall the deforestation. Dr. Suess has all the answers, don’t you know? As much as I love Ted Cruz, did he have to read “Green Eggs and Ham”? ?Couldn’t he read “Animal Farm”, 1984 or Atlas Shrugged, but I digress. Why can’t someone filibuster the Senate by reading every stupid money wasting program in the Budget and demand they all be cut! They can start with John Stossel’s lists.

  2. bien-pensant
    bien-pensant says:

    How many other instances are there where the Regime has funneled money to the unions? Make work schemes that only some of the fortunate elites benefit from. Anyone who has the space would certainly welcome “free” landscaping. Plus, homeowners had to know about the program in order to request trees.
    I’ll bet that the people who installed the trees got overtime.
    I wonder who exactly got the trees and who got the most money from the project?
    For that matter, were there even any trees?
    Questions the democrats never want to answer and the liberal media would never ask.

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