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City Planting Projects

Leading by Example and Planting to Grow Our Urban Forest

Planting Priorities

With so much canopy cover to grow in a such a short timeline, where do we start? How do we determine where to plant? Planting projects use a number of criteria to determine where trees are planted first. We've list several of the criteria below:

Image displaying the City of Tacoma's planting priorities
  • Consistency with the Comprehensive Plan, Urban Forest Policy Element
  • Street and freeway rights-of-ways, especially highly visible locations such as business districts and major corridors
  • Parks, schools and other publicly owned property when and where appropriate
  • Demonstration projects in diverse areas representative of the range of land use and development patterns in the City
  • Within the Flett or Leach watersheds
  • Low canopy cover areas with high residential density and lower incomes

Tree planting is generally done throughout out the City each year, in every neighborhood district to ensure resource equity; however, the highest priority planting projects are areas with low canopy cover, such as those in the map to the right.

In 2013, Ben Wells, then a student with University of Washington Tacoma working on a GIS certificate, took our canopy cover data and further analyzed the data in addition to Tacoma's residential density and 2010 demographic data.

Ben's full report
Larger version of the Planting Priorities image
Tree Planting Map 2013

2012-2013 Planting Projects

See the map below for the big picture view of this year's planting projects and our Open  Space properties. 

Larger version of the 2013 Planting Projects image

South Tyler Street Project

This project includes street tree planting, ornamental landscaping at three of the corners, removal of invasive species and reforestation of the slopes at South 56th Street from Tyler to Cheyenne and South Tyler Street from South 52nd to South 66th Street.

Neighborhood: South Tacoma

Species planted: Flame maple (Acer ginnala), Canada Red chokecherry (Prunus virginiana 'Canada Red'), Spring Flurry serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis 'Spring Flurry'), Cimmaron ash (Fraxinus 'Cimmaron'), Heritage oak (Quercus x macdanielii  'Clemons'), hardy rubber tree (Eucommia ulmoides), Powder Blue sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum 'Powder Blue'), Austrian pine (Pinus nigra), weeping Alaska yellow cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis  'Pendula'), hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana).

Quantity of trees: 166

Landfill Entrance

This project added a mixture of evergreen and deciduous trees to the landfill entrance to fill in between existing maple trees.
Neighborhood: South Tacoma

Species planted: deodar cedar (Cedrus deodara) and Accolade elm (Ulmus japonica x wilsoniana 'Morton')

 Quantity: 30

South 38th Cloverleaf and Triangle

This project added trees around existing trees to the triangle and cloverleaf at South 38th and South Union Streets. Native oaks were used with shade tree and evergreens.

Neighborhood: South Tacoma

Species planted: Oregon white oak (Quercus garryana), Giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum), Accolade elm (Ulmus japonica xwilsoniana 'Morton'), yellowwood (Cladastris lutea).

Quantity: 36

Tacoma Mall Medians

This project added trees to the two medians before the Tacoma Mall entrance on South Steele Street.

Neighborhood: South Tacoma

Species planted: Northern red oak (Quercus texana) and American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana).

Quantity: 11

Eastside Medians

This project added trees to the medians on Portland Ave from Puyallup Avenue to East Wright Avenue using mostly short flowering ornamental trees to not interfere with the median lighting.

Neighborhood: Eastside 

Species planted: Sterling Linden (Tilia tomentosa 'Sterling'), Maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba 'Autumn Gold'), incense cedar (Calocedrus decurrens), Spring Flurry serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis 'Spring Flurry'), Golden Desert ash (Fraxinus excelsor 'Aureofolia')

Quantity: 22

Tacoma Dome Frontage

This project added trees to the frontage road between I-5 and the Tacoma Dome, East Wiley Avenue between East L and East D Street. Trees were placed to maintain an open view of the Dome.

Neighborhood: Eastside

Species planted: Carolina silverbell (Halesia carolina), shingle oak (Quercus shumardii). 

Quantity: 37

Yakima Cloverleaf

This project added new trees to the Yakima Avenue cloverleaf at South 28th Street to fill in around the trees planted in 2009.

Neighborhood: Central

Species planted: Kentucky coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus).

Quantity: 19

Sprague Entryway

This project added trees and rain gardens to the west side of Sprague for beautification, screening and canopy cover purposes. 

Neighborhood: Central

Species planted: hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana), black gum (Nyssa sylvatica), Golden Desert ash (Fraxinus excelsor 'Aureofolia'), Persian ironwood (Parrotia persica 'Vanessa'), Autumn Brilliance serviceberry (Amelanchier grandiflora 'Autumn Brilliance'), star magnolia (Magnolia stellata 'Royal Star'), incense cedar (Calocedrus decurrens), Excelsor Western red cedar (Thuja plicata 'Excelsor'), mountain hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana), Witchita Blue juniper (Juniperus scopulorum 'Witchita Blue'), Japanese plume cedar (Cryptomeria japonica 'Taisho Tama').

Quantity: 226

View Point Park/Julia's Gulch

This project added large native trees in the lawn area between View Point Park and Julia's Gulch.

Neighborhood: NE Tacoma

Species planted: Doug fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), Western red cedar (Thuja plicata), and Western larch (Larix occidentalis).

Quantity: 13

Schuster Turnaround

This project added evergreens to the turnaround on Schuster Parkway to fill in around the maples planted in 2009. 

Neighborhood: North Tacoma

Species planted: Western red cedar (Thuja plicata) and Austrian pine (Pinus nigra).

Quantity: 15

Pearl Street Medians

This project replaced the 11 trees removed and filled in around remaining trees on Pearl Street between North 14th Street and North 36th Street.

Neighborhood: North Tacoma

Species planted: deodar cedar (Cedrus deodara), Maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba 'Autumn Gold'), copper beech (Fagus sylvatica 'Atropurpurea'), and Frontier elm (Ulmus 'Frontier').

Quantity: 47

War Memorial Park

This project replaced several trees that were removed last year and added more to line the park. The park is located between SR 16, Jackson and 6th Avenue.

Neighborhood: North Tacoma

Species planted: black gum (Nyssa sylvatica) and yellowwood (Cladastris lutea).

Quantity: 15

Northbound I-5 and South 38th Street cloverleaf

This project was a partnership with WSDOT to plant trees in their right-of-way. Native oaks were planted to help recreate the prairie habitat that used to be what is now southern Tacoma.

Neighborhood: South End

Species planted: Oregon white oak (Quercus garryana)

Quantity: 43