Great News: Congresswoman Matsui Introduces The Residential Energy and Economic Savings (TREES) Act


Washington, D.C., April 26, 2013—Today Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA) introduced The Residential Energy and Economic Savings (TREES) Act, which will help lower energy usage and utility bills through the targeted planting of residential shade trees. The legislation is being introduced on Friday, April 26 – National Arbor Day as well as the birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted, the founder of American landscape architecture.

The Residential Energy and Economic Savings (TREES) Act explicitly cites the benefits of proper tree siting, including stormwater management, reduced energy load demand, and carbon sequestration. It would establish a grant program to assist electricity providers in planting shade trees to insulate residential buildings and minimize home heating and cooling demands.

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) worked closely with the Congresswoman’s office on drafting the language of the legislation. Representative Matsui included ASLA’s recommendations, including:

  • establishing an education campaign to help residents maintain their shade trees
  • requiring monitoring and reporting on the survival, growth, overall health, and estimated savings of the provided trees
  • requiring tree recipients to care for the trees

Moreover, the legislation would also allow ASLA to recommend a landscape architect to participate on the local technical advisory committees to provide advice and consultation to the program.

“As we continue to tackle the combined challenges of high energy costs and the effects of climate change, it is essential that we put in place innovative policies and forward-thinking programs that will help prepare us for generations to come,” said Congresswoman Matsui (D-CA).  “The Residential Energy and Economic Savings Act, or TREES Act, would help reduce energy costs for consumers and improve air quality for all Americans.  My home district of Sacramento, California has implemented a successful shade tree program and I believe replicating this program on a national level will help ensure that we are working towards a cleaner, healthier future.”

“ASLA lends its support to the bill because planting shade trees and increasing overall tree canopy are effective strategies to help dramatically lower energy bills and reduce air pollution,” said Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA, executive vice president and CEO of ASLA. “ASLA is pleased to support the TREES Act and encourages members of Congress to follow Representative Matsui’s leadership.”

About the American Society of Landscape Architects

Founded in 1899, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is the national professional association for landscape architects, representing more than 15,000 members in 49 professional chapters and 76 student chapters. The Society's mission is to lead, to educate, and to participate in the careful stewardship, wise planning, and artful design of our cultural and natural environments. Members of the Society use the “ASLA” suffix after their names to denote membership and their commitment to the highest ethical standards of the profession. Learn more at


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