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Grit City Trees

The 2020 Grit City Trees Application is now Live 

Through these challenging times, we can cultivate a better Tacoma – together. We recognize that now, more than ever, our community needs to find ways to connect and to invest in our well being, our neighborhoods, and our community. We invite you to participate in Grit City Trees: a community tree planting program!


Apply for the 2020 Grit City Trees Program

Why Plant a Tree?
  • Grit City Trees are free to eligible Tacoma community members. There is no investment necessary other than your time, and willingness to improve your environment.
  • Trees directly impact and improve your health, and the health of your community.
  • Trees help capture and reduce air pollutants, improving overall air quality in your neighborhood. Trees let you breathe easier!
  • Trees keep you cool by reducing temperatures on the hottest summer days, saving you money on your utility bill.
  • Trees help reduce stress and improve your sense of well being by giving you relief from the urban environment.
  • Trees build community. While not required, we encourage you to talk with your neighbors about planting Grit City Trees together as a neighborhood.

Equity Comes First

The City of Tacoma is committed to racial, social, climate, and environmental justice for our community. In support of this work, we are committed to cultivating a resilient and sustainable urban forest. As outlined in the City of Tacoma's Urban Forest Management Plan, our goal is to reach tree canopy coverage of 30% in Tacoma by 2030.  With tree canopy coverage as low as 2.9% in some historically under-served neighborhoods, it is vital for the City to provide resources to support tree growth in these communities. 

We recognize particular communities have greater access to resources than others. With this in mind, the limited resources and support we have available through the Grit City Tree program will be prioritized to neighborhoods identified as “Moderate” to “Very Low Opportunity” on Tacoma’s Equity Index. People in higher opportunity neighborhoods are welcome to apply, but priority will be given to low opportunity areas. Tree coverage is a major factor affecting the livability of a neighborhood. For more information on livability and opportunity in Tacoma, explore the Equity Index.


How to Participate in Grit City Trees
  1. Complete the 2020 Grit City Trees application. For questions or support, contact Tacoma Tree Foundation at info@tacomatrees.org or Tacoma Urban Forestry at trees@cityoftacoma.org.
  2. View the list of available trees for the 2020 Grit City Trees program.
  3. While not required, we encourage you to work with your neighbors to complete a neighborhood group application (3 neighbors or more apply together).
  4. Individual applications are due August 30, 2020.
  5. Neighborhood group applications are due September 6, 2020.
  6. Once your application has been received and approved, trees, TAGRO, tree stakes and ties will be distributed in October and November.
  7. Individuals must pick up their trees and materials from the City’s plant holding facility, and neighborhood groups will have their trees and materials delivered to their designated drop off site.
  8. It's time to plant! You must call 811 to locate any underground utilities at least two days before you dig. Trees in our region have the best chance for survival when planted in the fall, shortly after you receive them.
  9. In the spring, watering bags will be available to you for ease of watering during the summer months. Trees should be watered regularly for at least the first three years after planting to help them establish healthy roots and thrive.
2020 Program Update in Response to COVID-Related Budget Constraints:
Grit City Trees being offered this year are coming from the City of Tacoma’s plant holding facility, and availability will be limited for certain sizes and species.



Guidelines and Limitations
  • Grit City Trees are available to Tacoma residents only.
  • Trees are available to plant as street trees only. This means they must be planted in the right-of-way adjacent to your property. Visit our right-of-way page for more information.
  • Small trees may be available when planting space is limited by area (narrow planting strips) and/or when there are overhead utilities (see application details for additional information).
  • Limited quantities of each tree species are available. We will do our best to accommodate your preference, but cannot guarantee your first choice of trees. Please see “2020 Tree Availability” for the list of trees currently available. You are not required to take a tree you don’t prefer.
  • Grit City Trees are not for resale.
  • For the best chance of success with your new street trees, carefully read the information available on our Planting and Growing page.
Need Planting Assistance?
Pierce Conservation District can (on a case-by-case basis) offer delivery and planting help to Grit City Trees participants. This offer is limited to those in need of physical assistance or lack access to a vehicle. We want to make sure that everyone is able to participate in Grit City Trees who wants to. Please indicate on your application if you have concerns that you would not be able to participate for these or any related reasons. We will do our best to address the individual needs of each Grit City Trees participant.


Planting Priority Areas

Priority Planting Areas