Tree Replacement

People holding shovels If a tree basin adjacent to your property is empty, or contains only a stump, we can help you obtain a healthy new replacement tree for that spot.

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

Once this has been done, please mail a check for $135 per tree (or $180 for a fast-growing species*) to:

Friends of the Urban Forest
1007 General Kennedy Ave Ste 1
San Francisco CA 94129

If you don’t have a printer, we’ll gladly mail or fax the forms to you; just contact Nico, our Replacement Tree Coordinator, by phone at 415-340-1911 or by email with our contact form.

Our replacement service 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
  • 18 months of tree care services

A tree basin in a sidewalk with no tree in it Once we receive your forms and check, we’ll contact you to get the ball rolling and to arrange the planting. We generally conduct replacement plantings monthly, and will work with you to coordinate an appropriate time.

If you need to first remove an old tree from your basin:

  1. Obtain a city permit to remove the tree (required before any tree – alive, dead or hazardous – can be removed). Visit DPW’s site for more information.
  2. Please be sure the old tree and all its roots have been removed (a minimum of 18” below sidewalk level in most cases) before we come to plant your new tree. Please use a shovel to prod into the hole to make sure there is no wood down there. If roots are still there, we will be unable to plant your tree. Please see our list of recommended tree stump removers and grinders. They typically do their work during street cleaning hours.

For more information about replacement plantings, please contact Nico by phone at 415-340-1911 or by email with our contact form.

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

*The following fast-growing tree species 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.)
  • Peppermint willow (Agonis flexuosa)

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