Park volunteers planting tree in the ground

Tree Planting

Urban Forestry

Jump To:

Benefits Tips Opportunities

Trees provide our city with environmental, aesthetic, social, and economic benefits. Planting a tree is the best way to make sure we have a healthy and diverse urban forest for future generations. 

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today!

Park volunteers planting trees

Each year the City oversees the planting of thousands of trees on City-owned and controlled property during the planting season from October 1 to April 30. The City works with citizens, volunteers, neighborhoods, and developers to plant trees all over the City. Trees planted so far this planting season:

  • 100 street trees planted  in the right of way to replace trees located downtown, in historic districts, and in medians
  • 1354 Street trees planted in the right of way as part of new development 
  • 20 trees planted in parks as part of the donor tree program 
  • 54 Street trees planted in coordination with a neighborhood group
  • 400 trees planted with multiple volunteer groups in parks and greenways


Planting a tree provides lots of benefits for the environment, our health, and our communities well being, including:

  • Mitigate climate change
  • Create healthier communities
  • Help clean our air by removing pollution from the atmosphere
  • Calm traffic
  • Help reduce pollution in our waterways by cleaning and storing stormwater when it rains and reducing erosion
  • Remove carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen into the atmosphere
  • Help save energy by reducing heating and cooling costs
  • Provide food and shelter for wildlife
  • Increase property values and reduce crime
  • Build better business
  • Every dollar spent on planting and caring for trees results in benefits that are two to five times that investment

The Many Benefits of Trees

Raleigh Urban Forester Zach Manor shares the many environmental, economic, and cultural benefits that trees provide to our community.


The urban forest doesn’t just include street and park trees, it includes all of the trees in Raleigh! You can make a huge difference in the community by planting trees on your property. 

Tree Planting Tips

  • Chose the right tree(s) for your property. You will need to determine what kind of tree will do best in your climate, soil, and growing conditions. Trees that are native to the area are a great place to start!
  • Before you choose a tree it's important to know the size of the tree at maturity. This includes the height, width, and root space needed. Make sure you provide enough space for the tree to grow. Placing trees too close to structures, houses and driveways could lead to damage or poor growth.
  • Look up and below. It’s important to be aware of any utilities overhead and below ground before you start digging.
  • Don’t use fertilizer or chemicals on newly planted trees. This could damage or kill your young tree.
  • It's important to water your newly planted tree during the first year. Keep the soil and mulch moist but not soggy. In dry weather, you should water every 7-10 days.

How To Plant A Tree

Raleigh Urban Forester Zach Manor provides easy to follow, step-by-step instructions to plant a tree.


Raleigh park volunteers planting tree in hole by sidewalk

The City has multiple opportunities available to make a difference in your community through tree planting as an individual or a group.

  • Volunteer to participate in an upcoming tree planting event. Find out more information on upcoming events and opportunities.
  • Donate a tree in honor or memory or a loved one or to recognize those who positively influence our lives. Learn more about the donor tree program 
  • Do you have a neighborhood or street that could use some street trees and wants to partner with the City? Neighborhood plantings are a great way to work with your neighbors or homeowners association to add street trees as part of a larger scale volunteer planting event and help the City care for the newly planted trees. If your neighborhood or street is interested in participating in a planting event, please send an email to with a primary contact and the location of the request. 
  • Are you interested in planting your own tree in the right of way in front of your property? All trees located in the right of way are considered City trees and all proposed tree plantings require review and approval by Urban Forestry staff. Find out more information about City trees or to request a planting permit
Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Related Services:
Urban Forestry Program