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Replacing what we’ve lost

Our rainstorms over the past couple of months brought down hundreds of street trees in San Francisco — trees we can hardly afford to lose. Sadly, many were mature specimens with lots of foliage — real powerhouses that provide the greatest benefits.

They leave behind empty tree basins, and we already have too many of those! New trees should be planted in them now.

San Francisco has too many empty tree basins like this one. That's why we're planting "replacement trees."

Our Replacement Tree Planting program has been dormant for the last couple of years due to factors related to the pandemic. But we’re relaunching it!

Our goal is to plant at least 30 replacement trees per month — which averages out to about a tree per day. We'll start by replacing trees at sites in underforested neighborhoods such as the Bayview, and then we’ll replace trees in empty basins in other parts of the city where they’ll do the most good.

Replacement plantings also give us a chance to diversify our urban forest. As we plant new trees in empty tree basins, we can ensure that the street has a variety of species, which improves the likelihood that a single disease or pest won’t wipe out all the trees on the street.

This diversity also ensures that the natural lifespans of the trees on the street will vary. That’s one way our Replacement Tree Planting program improves neighborhood resilience!

We have also updated our mission and values to align with our vision of a city where all people, trees and plants thrive: We connect people to nature and each other by planting and caring for San Francisco’s trees and gardens. And we’re explicitly grounding that work in values of environmental justice, community, stewardship, trust and joy.

We continue to adapt to the needs of San Francisco's urban forest, and your support makes that work possible. Please consider making a donation. Thank you!

A new street tree in the Mission Terrace neighborhood.

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