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

If you have questions after reading the information below, please contact Esmeralda by phone at 415-268-0772 or by email with our contact form.

Empty Basins

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

    1. Here is a link to our FUF online form. Or you can use this PDF instead.
    2. Next, please fill out the San Francisco Public Works Tree Planting Application. Please email this to or print and mail to FUF, 1007 General Kennedy Ave Ste 1, San Francisco CA, 94129. You do not need to send it also to Public Works. If you already have a permit from San Francisco Public Works, you can send us a copy of that instead.

Note: If you have a stump in your basin, you must remove it prior to planting — these vendors can do that for you.

Dead Trees in Basins

So sorry to hear about your tree situation! We would love to help you plant a new tree. In order to get a tree taken out, you must apply for a removal permit. Someone from Bureau of Urban Forestry will come out to look at the tree. They usually only allow removal if it is diseased, dying or dead. Here are the steps to get that started:

    1. Apply for a removal permit from San Francisco Public Works. Please email a PDF copy of the approved permit to or print and mail a copy to FUF, 1007 General Kennedy Ave Ste 1, San Francisco CA, 94129.
    2. To plant a new tree with FUF, fill out our FUF online form. Or you can use this PDF instead. (Note: We have a bit of a queue for Replacement Trees, about 2-4 months, but the sooner we receive the application from you the sooner we will plant your replacement.)
    3. If the removal permit is approved, please send us a copy of it. Then, select a contractor to remove the tree and grind out the stump. FUF Contractor referrals here. You may also choose to do this work yourself.
    4. Notify us that the tree is removed by calling Esmeralda at 415-268-0772 or by emailing her using this form.

Any further questions please don’t hesitate to ask. We hope to help you plant a new happy, healthy tree soon!

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 copay for the following fast-growing tree species is $180, because they 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)

A tree basin in a sidewalk with no tree in it

Speak Your Mind