Seattle Department of Transportation Urban Forestry crews began today planting approximately 500 trees in West Seattle and Rainier Beach. In Rainier Beach 150 trees are going in between South Ryan and South Hazel streets and between 56th and 65th avenues south. In West Seattle nearly 300 trees will be planted in the Gatewood and Fairmount Park neighborhoods. Another 50 trees are going in at scattered sites across the city. The plan is to complete the project by May 1st.
Every spring and fall SDOT plants 500 to 800 street trees in Seattle neighborhoods, balancing the locations across regions of the city and selecting trees that will thrive in an urban environment and in the specific locations selected. The small serviceberry tree, for example, is more easily situated near overhead wires and is both drought tolerant and very low maintenance. Planting strips five feet wide or greater with no overhead power lines become home to trees that grow taller and can create a canopy over the street and sidewalk. The trees are all grown in Northwest nurseries.
SDOT Urban Forestry maintains the new trees, first installing them with watering bags for two to three growing seasons to ensure their survival, and pruning them after they have established to encourage healthy growth and a growth pattern appropriate for their location.