Tree Replacement

Friends of the Urban Forest has a “Replacement Tree” program to replant street trees in open cement squares.

Our replacement program is appropriate for you if:

  • The tree basin adjacent to your property is emptyPeople holding shovels
  • Your basin contains a stump
  • You have a dead tree

This page outlines the process, but do not hesitate to contact Caitlin Moon in our Planting Services department: or (415) 268-0772


Empty Basins

To get started and sign-up for a free site visit please fill out these 2 forms:

    1.  Friends of the Urban Forest Letter of Agreement (PDF file available here, 253 KB)
    2.  Department of Public Works Tree Planting Application (PDF file available here, 147 KB) Be sure to select “Friends of the Urban Forest Planting”

Note: If you have a stump in your basin, you will need to remove it prior to planting. Referrals here


Dead Trees in Basins

Sadly, sometimes trees die for various reasons. If you have a dead tree in your basin, you need to remove the tree before we can plant. Follow these steps:

    1. Apply for a city permit to remove the tree (required for MOST trees – alive, dead or hazardous – before removal). Visit DPW’s site for more information.
    2. Fill out our eform for a “replacement tree.” Since you applied for a “Removal Permit” you DO NOT need to fill out another DPW Tree Application
    3. Remove the tree when approved. See our list of recommended tree stump removers and grinders.
    4. Alert us the tree is removed: or 415-268-0772

Tree Selection

Our Urban Tree Species Directory contains images and descriptions of the tree species we offer.

It’s best to explore a few you like, but we will make expert recommendations after viewing your site.


Our replacement program usually* has a copay of $135 per tree and includes:

  • Species recommendations by our arborists
  • The tree itself
  • Minor basin adjustments
  • Underground utility checks
  • A volunteer planting crew (optionally including you)
  • New tree owner’s manual
  • 3 years of tree care services


*The following fast-growing tree species require more frequent care when young in order to prevent overgrowth or structural problems and cost $180:

    • 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.)
    • Peppermint willow (Agonis flexuosa)

A tree basin in a sidewalk with no tree in it

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