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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 6,300 trees in their yards and along the street. That's 6,300 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.

Sign up to join our 2016 email list to receive notification of next year's species list and application opening date, which usually occurs in early August. Trees are distributed in the fall. Email TreesforNeighborhoods@Seattle.gov with questions.

Trees for Neighborhoods participants receive:

  • Free trees (up to 4 per household, lifetime max of 8). We offer a variety of small, medium, and large trees appropriate under power lines, along the street, and in the yard.
  • 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

How it Works

  1. Take time to evaluate potential planting sites on your property. Read the planting considerations page before selecting trees. Be sure to assess your planting space and match it to an appropriate tree.
  2. Apply for trees through the online application. Our tree list changes each year; check out lists from past years here. The application typically opens in July or early August.
  3. Attend a planting workshop to learn about proper planting and care and bring home your new trees.
  4. Plant and mulch your new trees.
  5. Stay connected with care reminders and pruning workshop opportunities to ensure you're giving your trees the love and care they need to thrive.

Need assistance planting your new tree? On a case-by-case basis, we offer delivery and planting help to participants who need physical assistance or lack access to a vehicle. To inquire about this service, please call 206-684-3979 or email TreesforNeighborhoods@seattle.gov.

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

Your Responsibilities

  • Choose trees appropriate for the space (Read the Planting Considerations page for more information)
  • On your application, indicate if the tree will be planted on the street
  • Pickup your trees and attend a planting & care workshop
  • Only plant trees in approved locations- trees must be planted at the address on the application. Street trees must be planted in approved and marked locations.
  • Properly plant trees in the ground (no pots!)
  • Assume all future maintenance & responsibility (summer watering, raking, pruning, mulching, etc.)

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. We will apply for this permit on your behalf when you participate in the Trees for Neighborhoods program. Be sure to indicate you are planting street trees on your application.

Benefits of Planting Large Trees

Large trees add character to Seattle's neighobrhoods and often become treasured neighborhood assets.  Research has shown that large trees maximize the benefits in urban areas. They provide higher quality habitat for birds and other wildlife, stabilize hillsides and prevent erosion, and provide shade on hot days reducing the need for air conditioning. Studies have also shown that large trees even increase residential and commercial property values!

Evergreen conifers provide year-round benefits for your neighborhood.

Large evergreen trees, especially conifers, are even better. Because conifers grow 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. Since 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.

If you have the space in your yard or planting strip (away from overhead power lines), consider making a long-term investment in your neighborhood by planting a tree that will give back for decades!

See Where Our Trees Have Gone

Since 2009, residents have planted over 6,300 trees across the city through Trees for Neighborhoods. Explore the map to learn more about where the trees have been planted. Click here to explore a larger, more interactive map.

Is there room for more trees in your neighborhood?

Questions?

Check out the Frequently Asked Questions to see if your question has already been answered. If not, we’re here to help! Contact us at TreesForNeighborhoods@Seattle.gov or 206-684-3979.

Join the 2016 Trees for Neighborhoods email list.

 

 

   
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