STOCKTON — My buddy Kurt once lived along a picturesque tree-lined street in Stockton’s University District.
It was here at this West Monterey Avenue home where he and his family witnessed the fall foliage that usually began in October. “I also knew I’d be spending most of my weekends raking leaves,” he said years later.
Kurt moved to a new home in the gated Brookside community, where he missed his surroundings of mature shaded trees but not the chores of raking.
Say what you want of Stockton, but Sunset Magazine named it one of the best tree cities.
“Stockton takes its shade tree so seriously: They help cool down the San Joaquin Valley’s famously hot summers,” the recent article said.
The city was shaped by a concerted effort that began in the 1920s thanks to a municipal tree-planting program.
Today, Stockton boasts about 100,000 trees, including 2,500 new ones planted each year. Listed are valley oak, Modesto ash trees and Chinese pistache, to name a few.
From this comes the season of change, with the fall colors evident in many of the tree-lined streets around town.
Right now, you can pick any street around town and already see the coloration of leaves on some of the trees.
I happened along one of the historic homes of Stockton, along Bristol Avenue and North Kensington Way just south of the University of the Pacific, surrounded by aging oak and other tree varieties, noticing the beginning stages of the fall foliage.
From Bristol Avenue, I turned on to Westminster Avenue – another picturesque tree-lined street – and noticed more fall colors.
Meander in any direction along the University District, including the University of the Pacific’s main campus, and you’ll come across the season of change.