Trees for Neighborhoods helps Seattleites set down roots

You can get up to three free trees.

A man in a plaid shirt stands next to a newly planted tree on a street in Seattle, WA

The city selects applications through a lottery that takes into consideration low canopy neighborhoods.

Photo via Trees for Neighborhoods

Can you dig this? Seattle’s annual Trees for Neighborhoods is a long-running program that gives away free trees to locals — and this year’s batch of applications is open until Monday, Aug. 7.

Since 2009, the initiative has helped Seattleites plant 13,000+ trees in their yards and nearby streets to beautify the city. If you’re selected, you get assistance from the city on proper care, a watering bag + mulch, and tree health evaluation for the first couple of years.

It’s pretty easy treesy to participate, but we’ll run down the basics.

Getting started

Take a stroll around your yard. The space will help determine the type of tree to apply for — is there room for a large tree? Are you close to power lines? Planting on the street is fine, but there’s a separate permitting process for that.

Also, consider your general goals for planting, whether it’s to create cool shade or a nice, natural hotel for local wildlife. That will help determine what species you jot down on the application. You can select up to three per household.

If your application is approved, you’ll have to attend one of four workshops in late September or early October, so clear your calendar.

Then, it’s time for the fun part — planting. Get that baby going in the fall before it gets too cold.

What’s available?

Spruce up your yard with these options:

Pro tip: the program often receives more applications than it has trees — you can increase your chances of getting one by applying for a larger tree, if you can.