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EAST BAY HOMEBUILDER LAUNCHES INNOVATIVE OAK TREE RESEARCH STUDY IN ROSSMOOR

 EAST BAY HOMEBUILDER LAUNCHES INNOVATIVE OAK TREE
 RESEARCH STUDY IN ROSSMOOR
 450 Oak Seedlings Planted in Public Demonstration Area
 PLEASANTON, Calif., April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- During informal ceremonies to be held tomorrow in Neighborhood 4 of its Rossmoor senior housing community in Walnut Creek, Calif., UDC Homes (NYSE: UDC) will host an informational dedication to launch a first- of-its-kind long-term research study of oak reforestation.
 The homebuilder, whose northern California office is in Pleasanton, has teamed up with professional foresters of the University of California Berkeley and two leading tree conservation organizations for the study. An initial planting of 450 native seedling oak trees will be made tomorrow in a demonstration planting area on Terra Granada Drive for public viewing, and will be followed by additional plantings of 6,000 seedlings in other Rossmoor areas.
 "This research and demonstration planting area is a first step toward UDC's commitment to reforest those areas that will be disturbed by home construction," said Larry Comegys, vice president of UDC in northern California. "We have retained the very best experts to develop and manage the research project and believe the benefits to the community will be long-lasting and far reaching."
 In 1992 UDC presented a $20,000 grant to the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) to fund the development of an Oak Revegetation Study at Rossmoor. The research project that begins tomorrow will investigate the survivability and growth of native California oaks planted on engineered cut and fill slopes. The study will also generate information for future practical landscape applications, and strengthen landscape standards required by local governments.
 The second planting phase of 6,000 oak seedlings is also part of the research study and will be made in Neighborhood 4 as development occurs.
 "There is a great deal of interest in California about conservation and management of native oaks," said Douglas D. McCreary, a natural resources specialist in the Department of Forestry at U.C. Berkeley, and one of three researchers on the project. "This study will develop information on how to successfully establish oaks on different sites created during development construction and evaluate techniques for planting oaks on engineered slopes."
 The research study is being managed by HortScience, a tree conservation company based in Pleasanton, under contract by UDC Homes who is funding the expenses for oak seedling purchase, drip irrigation, fencing and other maintenance activities. HortScience is supervising the project's preparation, purchase of seedlings, and general maintenance.
 "To revegetate the cut and fill slopes in this project," said Nelda Methany, consulting arborist with HortScience, "native oaks will be planted and irrigated for at least the first three years. We expect that a minimum of 80 percent will survive, and that within 10 years the trees will be 15 to 20 feet tall."
 Methany noted that while many people think of oaks as slow- growing, their growth rate of two to three feet a year is similar to many trees planted in California landscapes.
 In recognition for UDC Homes' commitment to this research study, the ISA awarded the company a Platinum Leaf Award in 1991. ISA is a scientific and educational organization devoted to the dissemination of knowledge and preservation of shade and ornamental trees.
 UDC Homes is a leading builder of adult and single family housing communities through the western United States and other Sunbelt locations. It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The northern California office currently has projects in Antioch, San Jose, and Walnut Creek.
 -0- 4/13/92
 /CONTACT: Carol Crawford of Crawford Communications, 415-239-1550, for UDC Homes; or Cindy Litzau of UDC Homes, 510-463-0931/
 (UDC) CO: UDC Homes ST: California IN: CST SU:


MM-RM -- SF001 -- 7902 04/13/92 16:00 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 13, 1992
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