Trees for Neighborhoods

Assistance
Get 3 free trees per household, lifetime max 6.
Application period
7/1 - 8/31
Time to apply
15-20 mins
Processing time
Varies
Age range
All Ages
Apply
Call or email to apply
Trees for Neighborhoods

Overview

Since 2009, Trees for Neighborhoods has helped Seattle residents plant over 13,400 trees in their yards and along the street. That's 13,400 more trees working to clean our air and water, cool sidewalks and homes, and make our neighborhoods healthier! See where we have planted trees together.

In addition to free trees residents can expect to get help selecting the right tree and planting location, planting assistance, and a watering bag & mulch for each tree. If you are approved for tree(s), you will be required to attend a virtual workshop for planting and care training. We will deliver the tree(s) to your home after the workshop is completed.  

This is an annual program and the 2023 Trees for Neighborhoods application is now closed. This year’s program will open in summer 2024.

When you participate in Trees for Neighborhoods, you receive:

  • Free trees (up to 3 per household, lifetime max of 6)
  • Help selecting the right tree and planting location
  • 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
  • Assistance planting your tree (for those who need physical assistance on a limited basis due to availability)
  • Street tree health evaluations for the first couple of years to let you know how your trees are doing

Eligibility

You are eligible to be considered for free trees if:

  • You are a homeowner within Seattle city limits or have obtained permission from the property owner.
  • You commit to choosing trees appropriate for the space you have.
  • You are willing to attend a planting and care workshop or webinar.
  • You are willing to assume all future maintenance and responsibility (summer watering, raking, pruning, mulching, etc.)
  • You agree to 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.
  • You agree to properly plant trees in the ground (no pots!)
  • You have not already received the maximum of 6 trees per household.

How to Apply

Steps to Receiving a New Tree:

  1. Evaluate your planting site and tree choices. Read the 2024 tree options page to help you select the tree best suited for the space.

    • Planting in a yard space? Choose the largest tree appropriate for your site.
    • Under power lines? Select a power line approved tree.
    • Pay attention to the mature size of the trees and their need for sun.
    • Select trees that will have room to grow to maturity.
    • If you have space, plant a large tree to get the greatest benefits for your neighborhood.
    • See our FAQ for Tree species questions
    • Trees for Neighborhoods is a popular program. Some trees are more popular than others. Small trees are the most popular. To increase your chances of receiving a tree, consider planting a larger tree if space allows.

  2. Apply online. Applications will be accepted from early July through early August. As long as you apply within the timeframe, there is no benefit to submitting your application early. All applications will be processed and the applicants notified of their status after the application closes in early August. If there are more requests for a given species than we have trees available, recipients will be randomly selected. If trees are still available after the first application period, a second application period may be added in mid-August.

    If you are not immediately approved for a tree, you will be placed on a waitlist.

    See our FAQ on Application questions

  3. Attend a planting workshop to learn about proper planting and care. On your application, choose one of the four workshops that is easiest for you to get to. We will deliver the trees to your home after all the workshops are complete.

  4. See our FAQ about the workshop.

Steps to Planting a new tree:

Need assistance planting your new tree? We offer planting help to participants who need physical assistance. Call (206) 684-3979 or email TreesforNeighborhoods@seattle.gov for information. This service is performed by volunteers and is limited by volunteer availability.

FAQs

Application and Tree Selection

After the application closes, Trees for Seattle will begin processing applications. You will receive an email with the status of your tree application once all applications are processed.

Also see our complete FAQ on Application questions.

Below are the dates for the 2023 process.

July 10: Application is open
July 15: Right Tree, Right Place Zoom Webinar, 10-11 am
July 18: Right Tree, Right Place Zoom Webinar, 7-8 pm
August 7: Application closes

August 9: Application Re-opens with remaining trees.
September 23: Tree Planting and Care Workshop - Meadowbrook Community Center, 10 am-2 pm
September 24: Tree Planting and Care Workshop - Rainier Beach Community Center, 10 am-2 pm
September 30: Tree Planting and Care Workshop - South Seattle College, 10 am-2 pm
October 1: Tree Planting and Care Workshop - Bitterlake Community Center, 10 am-2 pm

October 2nd: Tree delivery begins

Watch a video presentation of our Right Tree, Right Place webinar. This will help you make the best decision about where to plant your tree.    

Also see our complete FAQ on Tree species questions.

Location and Property Ownership

Attention renters! If you do not own your home, you need to ask the permission of the homeowner before applying for trees. Young trees need regular summer watering through their first five years. If you do not plan to be at your home that long, consider how the young tree will receive the proper care it needs.

Attention landlords! If you apply for trees for one of your rental properties, please consider future watering and maintenance. If you are unable to water the trees 2x/week during the summer months, please be sure your renter is willing.

See our complete FAQ of Street tree and utility questions

Delivery, Planting, and Care

  • We will deliver the trees to your home. You must attend a Planting and Care event to get delivery of your tree(s). Indicate which workshop you will attend on the application to get delivery of your tree(s).
  • On the application, please describe where on your property our staff should leave your tree(s), water bag(s), and mulch, e.g., north side of garage, next to front porch steps, inside front yard gate, etc.
  • It may take up to a month or more for us to deliver all the trees to your homes. The trees will be in 5, 7, or 10 gallon containers and are generally 4-6 feet tall.

  • All trees should be planted within 1-2 months after receiving them. You are responsible for planting the tree, which is why we require each participant to go through the Planting and Care training. If you are physically unable to plant your tree and would like assistance, please contact us.
  • Also see our complete FAQ on Planting and follow-up care questions

  • Your young trees will not survive the dry summer without watering. Water bags will be provided to help you care for your trees in the summer. For more tips about caring for your young tree, click here.