Trees for Schools

Trees beautify our schools, provide environmental benefits, and even improve our students’ academic performances. Friends of the Urban Forest supports the San Francisco Children’s Bill of Rights and is collaborating with the San Francisco Unified School District Sustainability Office to plant new trees in and around San Francisco schools.

Sidewalk trees: We’re working with Public Works to plant FREE STREET TREES at no charge to your school. To find out when FUF is coming to your neighborhood, please check our neighborhood planting schedule.

Schoolyard Trees: We are currently NOT taking new tree applications. Please check this website in early 2019. If you have recently submitted a form to a FUF staff, please be patient as we are working to secure funds to bring trees to your school.

Your school’s commitment to tree care is important: Three school members, parent, or staff, must commit to fill up the watering bag once a week over the first 3 years of the trees life, especially during the sumer. This is very important, trees in school frequently fail due to lack of watering. FUF will not plant your tree if you do not have sufficient watering capacity.

FUF Tree Planting Program includes:

  • Water bags, stakes, and protection
  • Tree sourcing and planting with volunteers
  • 3 year tree visits
  • Emergency tree care (if tree falls over or hardware fails)

For your information:

  • We follow SFUSD Green Schoolyard protocols when planting in schoolyards. FUF will have to file a Site Improvement Permit (SIP) before we plant trees in schools.
  • The final tree species selection is approved by Rick Maia, SFUSD Landscaping Supervisor. The final tree placement is approved by the SFUSD Green Schoolyards Manager and SFUSD District Architect.
  • FUF is not fully funded to plant trees in schoolyards. We are always fundraising to support tree planting costs. Your ability to fund trees in schools will make projects possible.

Requirements for new school tree application:

  • List a 3-person tree care team committed as “caretakers” for 3 years after planting
  • Caretakers’ commitment to keep trees watered 20 gallons a week per tree for the first 3 years, especially during the summer
  • School’s commitment and understanding to contact FUF anytime they have questions about their tree
  • Answer the following questions:
    • How can I keep my trees watered for the next 3 years?
    • What are the closest water sources near my new trees?
    • If I am no longer at the school, who can replace me as a caretaker?
    • Is there natural occurring asbestos where my trees might go?
    • What are the existing underground utilities that may interfere with tree planting?
    • What nearby student activity may damage the young tree?

Cost for trees:

The cost charged to schools is $345 per tree unless FUF is able to provide a subsidy.  The cost is higher if blacktop must be removed.

For questions contact FUF at or 415-268-0772.