Free Trees

Trees make a difference in your life...and in our city!

Did you know that the presence of street trees increases your property value? Well, they do that, and much more. Trees reduce traffic speeds, create a sense of community, improve one’s well-being and clean the air we breath. For more information on the many benefits trees provide, check out Why Trees Matter on the Resources Tab. If trees make a difference in our life, how many trees are needed to improve our city?

Tree canopy coverage--the percent of land under trees--is one way to determine a city's health. It is recommended that a healthy city have a tree canopy coverage of 25%. Perhaps not so coincidentally, 25% is also the U.S. national average for city tree canopy coverage. In stark contrast, Salinas' tree canopy coverage is less than 1/3 of that standard--less than 8%. With the severe storm of 2017 and other challenges confronting our forest, Salinas' tree coverage is dropping. Challenges are there to be sure, and City is rising to meet them. To redirect tree canopy scale upward towards the City's 25% goal, Salinas will be planting more trees. And your help is needed! If you are a Salinas resident (renter or owner) you can apply to "Adopt-A-Tree". Adoption is easy: the City of Salinas will purchase and plant a tree in the parkway at your house (the area between the sidewalk and street), if you agree to water your tree until it is safely established. For more information about tree watering, take a look at the short video linked on the right of this page. Normally trees are established after three years of care. Interested? To apply, see the "Free Tree--Adopt A Tree Program form below on this page. To grow its urban tree canopy from 8% to 25%, Salinas will need to plant a whole lot of trees. Many cities are already doing this. For example, the City of San Jose has a goal to plant 100,000 trees to cool and green their community. You can increase your property value and make Salinas a better place to live by "Adopting a Tree". Let's get to it!


What does it mean to adopt a tree?

Once the City plants the tree in front of your home, you will make sure that your adopted tree has enough water to thrive. In Salinas, you will need to water 5-10 gallons per watering, once a week. Not sure how much 5-gallons is? Simply fill up a 5-gallon bucket (available at your local hardware store) and time how long it takes to fill up, then run your hose for that time, each time you water. See the short video on tree watering on this site's home page to the right. Trees need to be watered deeply and regularly, so that the tree's roots get water. "Sprinkling" your tree is not enough.

What is the process to adopt a tree?

Trees really make a difference in our city! If you would like to adopt a free tree to be planted at your house between the sidewalk and the street:

Step 1.Complete the form below to express your interest and commitment to watering a tree.

Deep watering of approximately 10 gallons will be necessary once or twice per week for at least three years, then you will need to continue to keep an eye on your trees needs.

Step 2.An employee of The City will complete a site visit to your home in order to evaluate the amount of space between the sidewalk and the street and other factors.

You do not need to be home or set an appointment, because this evaluation can be performed from the sidewalk and street and sometimes with tools found on the internet.

Step 3.Following the site visit, a City employee will contact you to recommend the type of tree to be planted.

Step 4.Planting for the Adopt-A-Tree program is expected to begin no later than this fall.

Adopt-A-Block of Trees

If one tree in front of one's house is good, imagine the benefits of having your entire street lined with trees? You will see the whole neighborhood property values increase, traffic slow down and people enjoying walking a whole lot more. Salinas Trees promotes tree-lined streets throughout the entire city. With the Adopt-a-Block program, Salinas is encouraging neighbors to come together in adopting their block.

With the Adopt-a-Block, a group of residents can come together to green-up their neighborhood as a group. This simple act of arranging for the planting of trees and caring for trees together will strengthen our community. What's more, we all gain a profound sense of satisfaction as we watch the trees mature, knowing that we contributed to transforming our neighborhoods and our city in a positive way.

Salinas Trees is looking for residents who would like to adopt their blocks, serving as the liaison between Salinas Trees and the resident tree adopters in their neighborhood. Here’s what is involved:

Step 1.Step One:

Educate yourself about the benefits of street trees, then talk to your neighbors about adopting trees. As someone they know, you are the best person to tell them about the transformation you envision on your block!

Step 2.Step Two:

Help your neighbors fill out the Adopt-a-Tree Application and submit it to Salinas Trees.

Step 3.Step Three:

Keep an eye on those young trees. Be aware of the weather and how the trees are being cared for. During summer months young trees need regular watering. They may even need watering during winter months if we have a dry spell. Watch for pests and weeds around the trees. Do NOT prune the trees.