Plant a Street Tree

Welcome to the world of urban greening! If you’re passionate about gardening and want to contribute to the beauty of your community, planting a street tree is a fantastic way to go. At Tips Tree Planting, we believe in the power of nature to transform our cities and bring people closer to the environment. That’s why we’re here to guide you through the process of planting a street tree that will thrive and become a neighborhood asset.

Why Plant a Street Tree?

Street trees play a crucial role in enhancing the aesthetics of our cities. They not only beautify the landscape but also provide numerous benefits to the community. From providing shade and reducing energy costs to improving air quality and creating wildlife habitats, street trees are invaluable assets for a healthy and vibrant urban environment.

The Planting Process

To ensure a successful planting, we recommend following these guidelines provided by the San Francisco Public Works Bureau of Urban Forestry.

  1. Tree Selection: Choose a tree species that is suitable for the location and meets the requirements of the planting guidelines. You can find a list of recommended street trees on our Tips Tree Planting website.

  2. Permit Application: Complete the Tree Planting Permit application online or download the hardcopy forms. Make sure to provide accurate site plans showing tree locations, utilities, and other street furniture if required.

  3. Evaluation and Inspection: A Public Works inspector will evaluate the proposed tree locations and species. They will ensure compliance with the guidelines and minimum requirements.

  4. Utility Check: Before planting, contact Underground Service Alert at 800-227-2600 to check for the location of underground utilities. This step is crucial to avoid any interference or damage during the planting process.

  5. Planting: Once your application is approved, it’s time to plant your street tree! Follow the guidelines for proper planting techniques and ensure the tree has enough space to grow and thrive.

General Requirements

To maintain a healthy and well-maintained urban forest, it’s important to adhere to the following requirements:

  • Trees should be planted in a minimum 15-gallon nursery container (24″ box minimum for required trees).
  • Maintain eight feet of vertical clearance on the sidewalk side and 14 feet on the street side of the tree at maturity.
  • Avoid obstructing the path of travel on the sidewalk with tree branches. Prune them to keep them within the confines of the tree basin.
  • Avoid raised structures around the tree basin that can present a tripping hazard.
  • Choose the largest stature possible for a tree, considering utilities and space limitations.

Benefits of a Healthy Urban Forest

A healthy urban forest brings numerous benefits to our communities. Some of the advantages include:

  • Improved air quality through carbon sequestration and pollution filtration.
  • Reduction in energy costs by providing shade and reducing the urban heat island effect.
  • Wildlife habitat creation, supporting biodiversity in urban areas.
  • Beautification of streets and neighborhoods, creating a more pleasant and welcoming environment.

Resources and Support

At Tips Tree Planting, we understand that the tree planting process can be overwhelming. That’s why we recommend seeking assistance from organizations like the San Francisco Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF). FUF is a non-profit organization dedicated to neighborhood tree planting and maintenance programs. They can guide you through the entire permit process and provide ongoing support for tree care.

For additional information and resources, visit the following links:

Remember, by planting a street tree, you’re not only making a positive impact on the environment but also enhancing the overall quality of life in your community.

For further inquiries, feel free to contact us at:

San Francisco Public Works
Bureau of Urban Forestry
49 South Van Ness Avenue, Suite 1000
San Francisco, CA 94103
628-652-TREE (8733)
urbanforestry@sfdpw.org