Create a Thriving Business District
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and the City Arborist encourage community-initiated tree plantings. Business districts located on arterials have an advantage over residential areas when it comes to street trees: if the business district is willing to pay for the trees, SDOT helps coordinate the planting on arterials and in most cases will also maintain the newly installed street trees.
Before you purchase trees for planting in your business district, go through the following checklist:
Frequently asked questions:
What kind of tree is best?
The City Arborist (206-684-8733) can best answer this question. Before you call, have answers to the following questions: 1) Are there utility lines overhead? 2) How wide is the planting area? 3) Will concrete need to be removed to provide planting sites? 4) What will be the surface treatment under the new trees? Having this information will help a great deal in determining the right tree species for your area.
Who is responsible for maintaining street trees?
Currently the City of Seattle (Seattle Department of Transportation) maintains about 25% of the planted trees in the public right-of-way in the city. Only trees that have been planted by the City of Seattle are maintained by the City. Many of the street trees are the maintenance responsibility of the property owner — even if they are planted in the public right-of-way. While the City does not maintain all street trees, it does regulate all of them. Permits are needed to plant, prune or remove privately maintained street trees. If you have trees that are maintained by the City that you believe need pruning, please call the City Arborist at 206-684-8733. SDOT will inspect the trees and schedule them for maintenance.
What are the most commonly planted trees in Seattle ?
The most common trees are Flowering Cherry, Hawthorne, Norway Maple and
Red Maple. The City Arborist often changes the list of recommended tree species
based on the types of trees planted in the past and current biological conditions
such as emerging pests and diseases. It is a good idea to consult with the
City Arborist before choosing a tree species.
How much do trees cost?
Although prices may vary widely depending upon tree species, a two-inch caliper tree can cost approximately $130 to $200. This is a wholesale price and does not include installation or other related costs. Buying a tree guaranteed by the nursery generally doubles the cost and having the tree installed could potentially triple the cost.
Who can help our group plan and organize a community planting or purchase of street trees?
The Department of Neighborhoods offers a Tree Fund as part of their Neighborhood Matching Funds Program. The City provides the trees and neighbors share the work of planting and caring for the trees. Groups of neighbors that represent a minimum of 5 households on the block can receive trees for planting strips on residential streets. Before deliveries are made, participants must attend a training session provided by the City. Trees are delivered in the fall to a requested spot near the planting site. To match the City's contribution of free trees, neighbors must organize the planting effort, provide necessary tools and be responsible for watering and maintaining their trees. This contribution from neighbors helps meet the community building objectives of the Tree Fund.
Are grates necessary at the base of trees?
Grates may be required if the planting strip width is less than 5 feet in order to provide pedestrians with adequate walking space. Otherwise, they are not recommended. When using a grate, you must follow the Seattle Department of Transportation’s specifications.
Benefits and challenges of street trees:BENEFITS
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