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Trees for Neighborhoods

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Plant a Neighborhood Landmark!

Plant a white oak in your planting strip through Trees for Neighborhoods. Don’t wait—street  tree applications are due by Monday, August 25th! Planting strips must be at least 8 feet wide to accommodate this majestic long-lived shade tree. Apply for trees here.

Greening Rainier Beach

The City of Seattle is focusing on growing trees in the Rainier Beach neighborhood. Throughout the year, you may see us working on important tree projects such as planting, caring for young trees, pruning, and clearing trees away from power lines to reduce power outages. Learn more about our efforts in Rainier Beach and how you can get involved.

Next event: Rainier Beach High School Tree Care Party
Saturday, August 23
9 am - 12 pm
Rainier Beach High School
Meet at S Henderson St and 53rd Ave S
RSVP here

As part of Mayor Murray's Summer of Safety Initiative, Seattle reLeaf Tree Ambassadors, volunteers, and Seattle Public Utilities will be working to improve the trees and pick up litter near Rainier Beach High School. Please join us! Tools and refreshments provided. Dress for the weather and wear closed toe shoes.


Feeling Hot?

So is your tree! We are having a hot, dry summer and that is hard on young trees. All trees planted fewer than 5 years ago need regular water - 15-20 gallons - TWICE a week. Trees with wilting or browing leaves are probably drought-stressed. This damage is irreversable. Young trees are dying all over Seattle from a lack of water. Don't let yours be one of them! Just think of how well your tree is going to pay you back in the future when you can sit in its shade during these hot spells.

Need tips on how to make sure your tree is properly watered? Go here. Going on vacation? Ask a neighbor to water your tree for you while you're gone.


Stop Tree Topping

The arrival of summer often prompts people to prune their tree. If your trees are being pruned, be sure they are not being topped. Tree topping is an outdated pruning practice that indiscriminately removes large amounts of leaves and branches. It looks terrible, causes serious damage to the tree, and often turns a safe tree into a safety hazard. Check out this great resource from the City of Tacoma on why tree topping is a terrible way to treat your tree. If you are hiring someone to prune your trees, make sure they are an ISA Certified Arborist. A legitimate arborist will never recommend tree topping.


Seattle City Light Earns Tree Line USA Recognition

For the second year in a row, the National Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters have awarded Tree Line USA status to Seattle City Light. Tree Line USA status was granted in recognition of Seattle City Light's efforts to maintain healthy trees under power lines. Certified arborists oversee all tree-related work by Seattle City Light crews and contractors. Seattle City Light achieved Tree Line USA status by meeting five program standards:

1. Follow industry standards for quality tree care
2. Provide annual worker training in best tree-care practices
3. Sponsor a tree planting and public education program
4. Maintain a tree-based energy conservation program
5. Participate in an Arbor Day celebration.


2013 Progress Report and 2014 Work Plan

Curious to know more about what the City of Seattle's urban forestry team is working on? Our 2013 progress report and 2014 work plan are now available.


Seattle Aubudon Launches New Tree Map

Seattle Audubon has recently launced an amibitious new website which seeks to map trees across the city and quantify the many benefits such as cleaner air and cleaner water that those trees provide. Check it out and add your favorite tree today!


Our Urban Forest is Among the Top 10 in the Country!

American Forests has just named the 10 Best Cities in the country for urban forestry - and Seattle is one of them! Seattle's high ranking was based on these criteria:

  • Civic engagement in maintaining the urban forest;
  • Urban forest strategies and city greening to address city infrastructure challenges;
  • Accessibility of urban forest and greenspaces to the public;
  • Overall health and condition of the city’s urban forest;
  • Documented knowledge about its urban forests; and
  • Urban forest management plans and management activities.

You can read more in local press reports from King5 and KPLU. You can also check out the case study American Forests recently published about Seattle and see how we stack up compared to Portland, Milwaukee, Denver, Baltimore, and more.


Have a Question about Trees? Ask Our Experts!

Ask our experts.

Q. Why should I plant a large tree?

A. Healthy, mature trees provide many benefits to people and the environment. To maximize those benefits, plant a tree with the largest mature size that fits your space.

Large trees often become treasured neighborhood assets.  Research has shown that they provide higher quality habitat for birds and other wildlife, and they have larger root systems to help stabilize hillsides and prevent erosion. Large trees do more to buffer weather conditions, providing shade on hot days to reduce the need for air conditioning, and blocking winter winds to help save on heating bills.

Large evergreen trees, especially conifers, are even better. Because large conifers grow so tall in our region, they produce a larger volume of leaf area on a smaller footprint – using the same amount of yard space but working harder to take in carbon dioxide, produce oxygen, and filter out air pollutants. And because evergreens hold their needles and leaves through the winter, our rainy season, they reduce stormwater runoff to a much greater extent than do small deciduous trees.

Before choosing a tree, make sure you have enough space for it to reach its mature size. If you have a big enough area, larger trees will provide the most benefits.

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