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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: City to Plant 800 Trees in 2008 - Neighborhood locations sought for Bridging the Gap trees

4/14/2008  12:45:00 PM
Peg Nielsen, 206.684.8114
Sue Romero  (206) 684-8548

City to Plant 800 Trees in 2008
Neighborhood locations sought for Bridging the Gap trees

SEATTLE - The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) announced today it will expand the city’s urban forest in 2008 by planting more than 800 trees. As part of a nine-year planting plan funded by Bridging the Gap, SDOT’s Urban Forestry team is now evaluating potential tree locations and encourages Seattle neighborhoods to nominate sites.

Interested neighborhoods can apply by phone at (206) 684-TREE (8733) or online at the SDOT Community Trees website (

The department ideally needs roadway sites where up to 100 trees can be planted, on both sides of a street, for five to six blocks. Planting contiguously allows SDOT to consolidate maintenance efforts and preserve scarce forestry resources. This is particularly helpful during the first three years of growth when trees are most vulnerable and require constant tending and watering. First preference will be given to locations along arterials and where planting strips exist with a five-foot width between the sidewalk and the curb.

A medium-sized deciduous tree will absorb approximately 1.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. As part of the city’s environmental efforts, approximately 60,000 street trees will be planted throughout Seattle by 2037 to help counter the impacts of global warming. Thanks to Bridging the Gap, SDOT planted 681 trees in 2007.

To encourage citizens to plant and maintain their own trees, the city’s Office of Sustainability and Environment also has a new public information campaign called Seattle reLeaf. On its web site (, Seattle reLeaf helps property owners decide what tree is best for them, and how to plant, prune, and water.

Approved by voters in 2006, the $365 million Bridging the Gap levy enables much-needed work by the Seattle Department of Transportation, such as roadway paving, sidewalk development and repair, bridge upkeep, and tree pruning and planting. It also supports the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plans, the Safe Routes to School program, enhanced transit connections and large Neighborhood Street Fund projects.

The Seattle Department of Transportation builds, maintains and operates Seattle's $8 billion transportation infrastructure. To further Mayor Nickels’ goal to get Seattle moving, the department manages short- and long-term investments in streets, bridges, pavement and trees, that better connect the city with the region.

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Seattle Department of Transportation

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