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 three 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 here.


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 three years following planting. In 2016, San Francisco voters passed the Healthy Trees and Safe Sidewalks initiative (Proposition E) to have the city take back responsibility for street tree maintenance and the repair of tree-related sidewalk damage. The resulting maintenance program, StreetTreeSF, went into effect in 2017. The city is first focusing on the most hazardous and unhealthy trees and will ramp up routine scheduled care after that. You can find more information about this program here. The program is managed by the Bureau of Urban Forestry (BUF), which is part of San Francisco Public Works. You can call them at (415) 554-6700 or email them at urbanforestry@sfdpw.org.

If you would like to hire someone to prune a street tree adjacent to your residence, whether one time or in perpetuity (instead of having city arborists prune it), you must obtain permission from BUF. You will not be reimbursed by the city if you choose to hire an arborist on your own. 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 vary. We generally recommend that you have an arborist visit your tree every 3-5 years, depending on the growth rate of your tree.

Do not “top” your tree. Topping occurs when someone cuts back more than 25 percent of a tree’s canopy. Topping is 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 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.