Free trees for Ballard residents

Ballard residents can get free trees through the city’s Trees for Neighborhoods program to help the city expand its tree canopy.

The city wants to expand the tree cover in Seattle from 23 percent to 30 percent. Because more than 85 percent of the land is privately owned, they’re asking residents to help reach their goal by planting trees in their yard.

From the release:

Trees are an important element of Seattle’s neighborhoods. Trees add character and beauty. Trees make communities more walkable, bringing people outdoors thereby creating opportunities to meet neighbors. Trees increase the property value of homes and calm traffic in residential areas. Trees intercept rain water during storms, decreasing the levels of pollutants flowing into Puget Sound. Trees also absorb global warming pollutants and improve the quality of our air.

Program participants receive:

• Free trees!
• Watering bags
• Training on proper tree planting and care
• One free bag of GroCo compost, made with King County biosolids

Available trees include both evergreen and deciduous trees, some native trees and a fruit tree option.
• Italian plum (a fruiting tree)
• Shore pine
• Katsura
• Western red cedar
• Red oak
• Douglas fir

Here are the rules:

Individual households are welcome to apply – you need not apply as a group. Trees must be planted in your yard, not as street trees. Limit four trees per household, with a maximum of one plum per household. All applications are subject to City review. Tree supply is limited and applications will be accepted on a first come first served basis. Apply early to ensure your application is accepted.

Applications are available here (.pdf). Applications are due November 22. On December 12, you can pick up your trees and attend a planting and care workshop.

4 comments on “Free trees for Ballard residents”

  1. How can we afford this right now? Nice program, but I think I’d choose cops on the street over trees in yards.

  2. Why would anyone plant a doug fir in their yard?? These aren’t the worlds most neighbor friendly trees, and they get very big very fast.

  3. Sometimes I have to wonder about the tree choices made, and if the choosers know the characteristic of the trees. An Italian Plum would be great if you took care of it. It is not a long lived tree, needs proper pruning, disease and pest prone, messy, and fallen fruits attract vermin. The only tree on that list that is a good choice is the Katsura.

  4. It is not possible that 85% of land in Seattle is privately owned. Well over 15% is consumed by street right-of-way alone. Throw in parks, schools, etc., and i’d be surpised if 60% is privately owned.

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