Move Seattle Street Trees

A row a street trees after being planted

Trees improve our health and environment and make our neighborhoods friendlier places to live, work, and play. The City of Seattle’s goal, as outlined in the Urban Forest Stewardship Plan, is to increase Seattle’s tree canopy cover to 30 percent by 2037. That’s why, when we must remove trees, we replant two trees for every one removed. Tree replacement planting is funded by the nine-year Levy to Move Seattle, approved by voters in 2015.

Like all living things, trees age and die; and in urban areas trees do not plant themselves the way we need them to be planted. Thus the urban forest relies on people proactively planting trees in order to continue providing the many benefits we get from trees. To best facilitate this necessary tree planting, SDOT divides Seattle geographically into 27 separate management units. Each year, three management units are scheduled for tree planting and maintenance. This focusing of efforts allows us to reduce costs and improve tree planting outcomes.

Tree placement and species is determined by distances to existing infrastructure including pedestrian and vehicular traffic, under and above ground utilities, and environmental site characteristics. The palette of trees we have chosen is suited to meet the wide variety of site characteristics we find in Seattle’s urban environment. If you received a notice stating that your site is being evaluated for potential as a Move Seattle planting spot, the following is a list of trees you can expect:

Size ClassScientific NameCommon Name
Large Eucommia ulmoides Hardy rubber tree
Large Fagus grandifolia American Beech
Large Fagus sylvatica 'Riversii' Rivers purple European beech
Large Ginkgo biloba 'Princeton Sentry' Princeton Sentry Ginkgo
Large Gymnocladus dioicus 'Espresso' Espresso Kentucky coffeetree
Large Nyssa sylvatica 'Afterburner', 'Firestarter', 'Wildfire' Black tupelo (Afterburner)
Large Quercus bicolor 'JFS-KW12' American Dream swamp white oak
Large Quercus coccinea Scarlet oak
Large Quercus frainetto Italian (or Hungarian) oak
Large Quercus imbricaria Shingle oak
Large Ulmus 'Frontier' Frontier elm
Large Ulmus 'Homestead' Homestead elm
Medium Cladrastis kentukea Yellowood
Medium Oxydendrum arboreum Sourwood
Medium Zelkova serrata 'JFS-KW1' City Sprite Zelkova
Small Carpinus caroliniana 'Native Flame' or 'Palisade' American hornbeam
Small Cercis canadensis Eastern redbud
Small Cornus Eddies white wonder Eddies white wonder dogwood
Small Koelreuteria paniculata; 'Coral Sun'; 'Fastigiata' Goldenrain tree
Small Chionanthus virginicus American Fringetree
Small Malus transitoria 'Schmidtcutleaf' Golden Raindrops Crabapple
Small Parrotia persica 'Ruby Vase' Ruby Vase parrotia
Small Parrotia persica 'Vanessa' Vanessa parrotia
Small Sorbus americana 'Dwarfcrown' Red cascade mountain ash
Small Styrax japonicus 'JFS-D' Snowcone Japanese snowbell

SDOT will start planting trees in the fall and may continue all the way through to the following spring. The trees will be watered through to establishment (approximately 3 years) via a watering bag at the base of the tree.

If you would like to hear more about this effort, please plan to attend one of our community meetings.


Due to the COVID 19 Pandemic, our informational community meetings are cancelled until further notice.



Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.