Street Tree planting

Since 2013, SESNA has partnered with the City of Salem and multiple volunteer groups, to plant trees in the residential parts of our neighborhood. To date, we’ve planted 139 trees along our streets!

SESNA spend an evening with R. Milan Davis, the City’s Urban Forester, and learned that this program is currently being revised. Check in with the Public Works Department for the state of these changes.

One of the improvements would allow a tree to be planted during most of the year, instead if once a year. When we know more, this page will be updated.

Street trees

In the City of Salem, street trees are those trees located in right of way. In most cases, the trees are located in the ‘planting strip’, between the sidewalk and the curb.

The trees are City property, and they are provided at no cost by the City of Salem.

Select trees

Trees planted under the street tree program are chosen by you from a City-approved list of trees that aren’t especially messy or brittle, and that won’t lift up sidewalks.

Certain trees are the right size for almost any planting strip, even if it’s as narrow as 3 or 4 feet, even under power lines.

Tree care

For the first three summers, we ask that the residents water the trees. You’ll receive comprehensive instructions and a 5-gallon bucket with a small hole drilled in it that allows for slow, soaking irrigation.

All other care is the responsibility of the City of Salem.

Get your free tree

The first step is to contact SESNA and let us know you want a street tree. We’ll send someone out to look at your planting strip and see what trees from the City-approved list will fit there, then help you pick one you like.

We’ll need your or your landlord’s approval for planting the tree, and agreement to water it. There is no cost to you. But you can help plant, if you want!

How magic happens

First, the tree has to be selected and ordered. Since the City adds trees for the SESNA neighborhood to its large tree order each year, we have to place orders with the City of Salem by the end of June.

If you miss that deadline, don’t worry. We can add you to the list for the next year!

Your tree is planted the following January, usually on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The trees are dormant midwinter, and this helps them avoid transplant shock.

Request a tree

Request a new tree to be planted in front of your property