Trees for Neighborhoods
Since 2009, Trees for Neighborhoods has helped Seattle residents plant over 9,300 trees in their yards and along the street. That's 9,300 more trees working to clean our air and water, make our streets more walkable, and our neighborhoods healthier! See where the trees are planted.
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)
- 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
- Street tree evaluations for the first couple of years to let you know how your trees are doing
Plant a Tree in 2019!
The application will open on July 15 and close on August 12. To make sure you don't miss the application window, sign up here for the 2019 email list to find out what tree species we will have and application information when we have that information available.
How to Apply?
- Evaluate your planting site and tree options. Read the planting considerations page. Select the tree best suited for the space.
- Under power lines? Select one of the power line approved trees.
- Planting along the street? Review the minimum planting strip width requirements before selecting your tree.
- Backyard space? Choose the largest tree appropriate for your site.
- Review the 2019 tree list when we release it in mid-June. Pay attention to the mature size of the trees and their needs for sun. Select trees that will have room to grow to maturity. If you have the space, please consider planting a larger tree to bring greater benefits to your neighborhood.
- Apply Online. Applications will be accepted from July 15 through August 12. As long as you apply within this time frame, there is no benefit to submitting your application early. All applications will be processed and applicants notified of their status after the application closes August 12. If there are more applications for a given species of tree than we have trees available, recipients will be chosen by a random lottery system. If trees are still available following the first application period, a second application period may be added in mid-August. Learn more about the application process here.
- When you apply, you will chose a planting and care workshop next fall to pick-up your trees. Add this date to your calendar. If your application is approved, you will need to attend this workshop to pick up your tree. Fall is the best time to plant a tree in Seattle because your new tree will benefit from our fall and winter rains.
- Need assistance planting your new tree? 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.
Important 2019 Dates
- July 15th: Application opens
- July 20th: Right Tree, Right Place workshop (optional). Rainier Beach Public Library Branch
- August 3rd: Right Tree, Right Place workshop (optional). Lake City Public Library Branch
- August 12th: Application closes
- October 5th: Tree pick up workshop. Center for Urban Horticulture
- October 12th: Tree pick up workshop. Georgetown Campus South Seattle College (limited availability)
- October 27th: Tree pick up workshop. Center for Urban Horticulture
- 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 an onsite 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 is a street tree? In Seattle, street trees are regulated by the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT). A street tree is planted in the public right-of-way, usually in the planting strip (space between sidewalk and road) or in the absence of sidewalks, in the space approximately 10 feet from the curb or roadside. If the greenspace adjacent to your property is an unimproved right of way (an area originally set aside for alleys, streets, or paths that has not been developed), then a tree planted there would be considered a street tree. Trees in greenspaces owned by Seattle Parks and Recreation are not considered street trees.
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 get a free permit from the Seattle Department of Transportation. When you participate in Trees for Neighborhoods, we will submit a planting permit application on your behalf. Yard trees do not require a planting permit.
What Past Participants Say about Trees for Neighborhoods
Nearly 100% of Trees for Neighborhoods participants tell us that they would recommend the program to a friend or neighbor. Around 85% of participants tell us they learned something new about tree planting or care.
"This was the first time we planted a tree, and the first time we've had a yard in which to plant anything, so everything was new, helpful information for us."
"Everything was very organized and every person was very helpful. I enjoyed the whole process and love seeing the tree planted in my yard!"
"This was the first time we participated and absolutely loved the experience. Our tree is doing great!"
"I didn't realize how much the trees I plant on my own property could benefit the city/environment. I also had NO idea how to plant one properly."
Check out the most Frequently Asked Questions.
Further Information & Links
Street Tree Planting
SDOT's Approved Street Tree List