Neighborhood Tree Planting

Friends of the Urban Forest makes it easy and affordable for San Franciscans to get new trees in front of their properties. Street trees beautify and improve neighborhoods, increase property values, reduce storm-water runoff, and clean the air (see more benefits here). We pay most of the costs (see the copayment chart below). We also offer a limited number of free trees; to see whether you qualify, please contact Caitlin by phone at 415-268-0772 or by email with our contact form.

Man planting a street tree

Planting in the Outer Sunset.

When you sign up for a tree, we provide all this:

  • Check utilities to ensure no interference
  • Cut and dispose of concrete from sidewalk
  • Species recommendations by our arborists
  • The TREE itself
  • Hardware to support and protect the tree
  • A volunteer planting crew to help you plant it
  • New tree owner’s manual
  • 18 months of tree care services

For a small additional charge, we also offer labor-saving watering bags that encircle trees and slowly water them, and wire mesh screens that provide extra protection to trees in risky locations.

People preparing to plant a street tree

The 45,000th tree planted by Friends of the Urban Forest, April 23, 2011. Photo by Cassandra Wages.

To sign up for a tree, complete the tree planting forms. We plant trees in any San Francisco neighborhood where at least 30 trees are requested. Plantings are community events that include neighborhood residents, volunteers and FUF staff. Plantings usually happen on Saturday mornings, and conclude with refreshments provided by neighbors. If you want to help us spread the word in your neighborhood so the planting happens soon, we’ll show you how to be a Neighborhood Organizer (the first step is always a casual “happy hour” meeting in the neighborhood). If you’re not able to order a street tree yourself, but you’d like to help plant them, see our Volunteer page.

Subsidized Trees

Most of our tree planting costs are covered by grants and donations; only a small copayment is made by property owners, as described below. We sometimes have additional grant funding to further subsidize plantings in certain neighborhoods; call Caitlin at 415-268-0772 to confirm the copayment for your neighborhood.
Most TreesCopaymentFast Growers*Copayment
Initial tree planting price.
Includes three tree care visits during the first three years after planting
$135 per treeInitial tree planting price.
Includes four tree care visits during the first three years after planting
$180 per tree
Optional fourth tree care visit, approximately five years after planting – pre-pay when you get your tree OR pay now to add this service for your tree$75Optional fifth tree care visit, approximately five years after planting – pre-pay when you get your tree OR pay now to add this service for your tree$75
*The “Fast Growers” copayments apply when tree recipients choose the following fast-growing tree species, which require more frequent care when young in order to prevent overgrowth or structural problems:

  • all Acacia species
  • Australian Tea Tree (Leptospermum laevigatum)
  • Brisbane Box (Lophostemon confertus/Tristania conferta)
  • Chinese Elm (Ulmus parvifolia)
  • all Eucalyptus species
  • Locust Tree (Robinia spp.)
  • Primrose Tree (Lagunaria patersonii)
  • Peppermint Willow (Agonis flexuosa)

You can review images and descriptions of the tree species we offer in our Urban Tree Species Directory. NEXT STEP: sign up for a tree by filling out our tree planting forms.

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