Tree Planting

Washington Square West has an active tree planting program that is supported through non-profit collaborations, grants and individual contributions. More than a dozen trees have been planted in the area since 2020, with over 600 planted thus far over the years. To apply for a street tree for your house, click here or reach out to our Urban Stewardship committee chair at UrbanStewardship(at)

Street Trees:
  • Cool and clean the air through shade, moisture and oxygen release as well as through carbon dioxide absorption.
  • Reduce noise by acting as sound barriers.
  • Reduce glare from street surfaces, sunlight, buildings, headlights and street lamps.
  • Increase property values and enhance “curb appeal.”
  • Improve the quality of life by enhancing the city landscape and beautifying the neighborhood.
The WSWCA Urban Stewardship Committee can help you to:
  • Plant a new tree in front of or alongside your property
  • Remove and replace dead or diseased trees or stumps in your immediate area

City street tree planting is a process, which entails more than just choosing a tree and putting it in place. In order to complete planting, any site must be assessed for utility lines, and the appropriate permits obtained. Sidewalks affected in the planting process will require breakage and debris removal. All work is non-profit supported with volunteer labor.

The actual contracting process is streamlined through the Urban Stewardship Committee, as an individual contractor is enlisted to complete tree planting throughout the year. The contractor acquires the necessary permits, performs site checks and provides a year’s guarantee on the planted trees.

Fun Fact:

The name “Washington Square West” came into official use in the late 1950s and early 1960s as part of Edmund Bacons comprehensive plan for Center City.

Tree planting costs are subsidized by the Greening Committee through funds received from donations and grants. The Committee has made it possible for individual property owners to pay quite a bit less per tree than they would have had they acquired the tree or trees on their own.

Planting costs for property owners will vary and will depend on the type of tree requested and the subsidy amounts available through the Greening Committee.

In making a request to plant a tree, applications are taken through September 30th in time for planting within the fall and winter of the same year. A small, non-refundable deposit is required of the property owner for a spot on the planting list, and full payment on the contribution is expected by October 1st.

Once a property owner takes ownership of a tree, which has been planted through the Washington Square program, they must comply with the provisions of caring for and maintaining that tree on a continual basis. The Greening Committee assumes no liability for planting work that a property owner has authorized.

Guidelines for choosing a location for a new tree:
  • Any sidewalk considered for planting use must contain enough width to accommodate the tree as well as provide sufficient room for pedestrian traffic.
  • Trees cannot be planted where interference occurs from an operational driveway or a curb cut.
  • Trees cannot be planted on a street corner.
  • A tree’s location cannot be within 6 feet of a fire hydrant and must also be placed away from utility access covers.

When choosing a location for a tree that happens to fall on or near a property line, check with other property owners as to whether they object to a tree being planted in that area. If necessary, the WSWCA may ask affected property owners to agree to signing a letter of consent before any planting proceeds.

To request tree-planting services in the Wash West locality, email Also, if you would like to volunteer your time or contribute to the Tree Planting Fund, please call the WSWCA or email us at

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