Early Tree Care


Did we recently visit your tree?

Please fill out our Tree Care Survey to provide us with feedback. If you would like more information about your tree, please contact out Tree Care Advice Line at (415) 268-0775 or email us.

Supporting Our Efforts

Our staff and volunteer teams visit each tree at least three times during the critical first five years after it’s planted. The teams assess the health of the tree, ensure that its protective stakes and ties are sound, and prune it as needed.

On average it costs us about $100 to visit each tree as a part our Tree Care Program. As a nonprofit we get our funding from a variety of sources including grants and individual donations. If you would like to help offset some of these costs and support the many amazing programs we run at FUF, please consider making a tax deductible donation at www.fuf.net/donatecare.


Would you like to be a member of the FUF Tree Care crew? If you are interested in joining our volunteer tree care team, we go out every Wednesday and Friday from 11am – 2pm and every other Saturday from 9:30am – 12:30pm.

We prune trees to help them grow healthy and strong in the urban environment. If this sounds like a good way to spend your day, please check out our upcoming Pruning Workshops on our website. We require that anyone who would like to prune with our team attend a pruning workshop before they are included on our weekly mailing lists to give them a rundown of our pruning style at FUF.

Once you have attended a Pruning Workshop, we can include you on the weekly mailing lists for any of those days (Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday). The mailings consist of a location and time that we will be meeting that week; that way you can decide if you have time or if it seems like a neighborhood you would like to prune some trees in.

See our Volunteer page to find out more.

Tree Care Advice Line and Emergency Tree Care

See tree emergency tips and how to prevent young tree emergencies here. If would like to schedule an emergency tree care visit or have a general tree question, please contact us at (415) 268-0775 or email us. Please keep in mind that we are a nonprofit with limited admin support and spend most of our time in the field responding to calls and keeping up on our scheduled maintenance. We usually return calls or requests within about two weeks and appreciate your patience!

Pruning after FUF

We only prune trees that were planted with Friends of the Urban Forest up to a maximum of five years following planting. As a city we just passed the StreetTreeSF initiative to have the city take back responsibility for street tree and sidewalk maintenance. This went into effect on July 1st, 2017 within the City of San Francisco. They will be focusing on the most hazardous and unhealthy trees for the first two years and ramping up scheduled care over subsequent years. You can find more information about the effects of this measure here. The department associated with this new change is the Department of Public Works – Bureau of Urban Forestry (BUF). You can call them at (415)554-6700 or email at urbanforestry@sfdpw.org.

If you would like to hire someone to do the work on a more expedited schedule or do not want the city to prune your tree we generally recommend that you have an arborist visit your tree every 3-5 years, depending on the growth rate of your tree. You can find a list of arborist referrals on our website: www.fuf.net/arborist. You may want to shop around before deciding as prices do vary. Be sure to notify BUF that you are doing this work on your own. You will not be reimbursed by the city if you choose to hire a contractor on your own.

Do not “top” your tree. Topping occurs when someone cuts back more than twenty-five percent of a tree’s canopy. Topping is also illegal in San Francisco, and is punishable by a fine of at least $1,800 (Article 16, Sec. 811 of the Public Works Code) so please check in with a certified arborist to ensure the pruning you are doing for your tree is legal. Street trees are a public asset, and belong to all San Franciscans. Click here for more information on tree topping.

Tree Care on Your Own

We have tips on all aspects of tree care including soil and mulch, watering, hardware maintenance, sidewalk and basin care, pruning, and common pests and diseases.