web graphic
Seattle reLeaf
Seattle reLeaf Home PageBenefitsGet InvolvedPlanting and CareRestorationManagement PlanRegulations

Get Involved
Tree Ambassador
Trees For Neighborhoods
2016 Species
Frequently Asked Questions
Planting Considerations
Past Plantings
Ask Our Experts

Trees for Neighborhoods

Trees for Neighborhoods is the City of Seattle's residential tree planting project. Since 2009, Trees for Neighborhoods has helped Seattle residents plant over 7,300 trees in their yards and along the street. That's 7,300 more trees working to clean our air and water, make our streets more walkable, and our neighborhoods healthier! Learn more about the benefits of neighborhood trees here.

When you participate in Trees for Neighborhoods, you receive:

  • Help selecting the right tree and planting location
  • Free trees (up to 4 per household, lifetime max of 6 beginning in 2017)
  • A watering bag & mulch for each tree
  • Training on proper planting and care
  • Assistance applying for street tree planting permits
  • Ongoing care reminders and future pruning workshop opportunities
  • Tree delivery & planting assistance if you need physical help or lack access to a vehicle.

Check out some photos from past years to learn more about the process.

The 2016 season is now over. Thanks to the help of over 450 households, we planted 1,000 new trees in Seattle! If you participated and have questions about your new tree, please contact treesforneighborhoods@seattle.gov.

Plant a tree in 2017! Trees for Neighborhoods takes place every year. Each year, the application opens in July and trees are distributed in the fall, which is the best time of year to plant new trees.The tree list changes each year, however we always offer a variety of trees appropriate for planting under power lines, along the street, and in large yards. Check out the tree lists from past years to learn more.

Sign up to receive email updates about the 2017 Trees for Neighborhoods application, which will open in July.

Fall is Tree Planting Season!

Fall is the best time of year to plant a new tree in Seattle. Trees planted in October-December benefit from our fall and winter rains, developing a stronger root system before the next summer dry spell.

If you're hoping to plant a tree this fall, we encourage you to think about the following questions:

  • Why am I planting a tree? Is it to add shade in summer, create a privacy screen, or simply add beauty?
  • What site factors will influence my tree selection? Be sure to think about how much available space you have, the surrounding structures like your house and fence, overhead power lines, and undergound utilities.
  • What is the right tree for my site? The key is right tree, right place. Consider the size at maturity, tree shape & form, whether you want a tree that is deciduous or evergreen, and whether the tree is approved for planting under power lines.
  • Is it a yard tree or a street tree? While you don't need a permit to plant a yard tree, you do need to obtain a planting permit from the Department of Transportation before planting any tree in the planting strip or right-of-way.

Learn more about selecting the right tree and planting location here.

Planting Street Trees

What's a street tree? A street tree is planted in the public right-of-way, usually in the planting strip (space between sidewalk and road) or in the space approximately 10 feet from the curb or roadside, in the absence of sidewalks.

To make sure street trees are planted in locations where they will not interfere with underground sewer, water, and gas lines or overhead power lines, residents must obtain a free permit from the Seattle Department of Transportation. If you'd like to plant a street tree on your own this fall, read more about about how to apply for a planting permit here.

Planting Healthy Trees

Planting healthy trees starts with selecting a healthy tree from the nursery. Be sure to choose a tree with a strong, well developed single leader. Look for good branching structure with branches distributed all the way around the trunk. The bark should look bright and healthy without any wounds or visible insect damage. For more tips on what to look for at the nursery, click here.

Learn more about how to properly plant your new tree here. Your goal is to plant your tree at the proper depth with the root flare (where trunk meets major roots) above ground level. You also want to make sure you've removed any circling roots that could cause your tree problems down the road. Your tree should be planted in native soil; adding amenndments and compost can actually hurt your tree.

Always give your new tree a good drink of water and spread 2-3 inches of bark mulch or arborist wood chips around the base of the tree, keeping it a hands-width away from the trunk.


Contact us at TreesForNeighborhoods@Seattle.gov or 206-684-3979.

Sign up to receive email updates about the 2017 Trees for Neighborhoods project.



Home | Benefits | Get Involved | Planting & Care | Restoration | Management | Regulations | Contact Us