Skip to content

Tree Resources

On this page, you'll learn about the two ways individuals and groups can plant a tree on City of Richmond property: a Street Tree Planting Permit and the Adopt-A-Tree program. You can also find tree-related forms, information about the size of different species of trees at maturity, native plant search tools, how to navigate the Tree Inventory Map, and FAQs on the Adopt-A-Tree program.

How to Permit a Tree

You want to plant a tree on City-owned property - like in a street tree well. That's amazing! We're here to help you learn the steps to permit a tree before planting so the City can properly account for it.

The steps are:

  1. Identify the tree well you would like to plant.
  2. Identify the tree well's address and Tree ID on the City’s Tree Inventory Interactive Map.
  3. Fill out permit.You must submit a separate permit for each tree you want to plant.
  4. Submit permit to City arborist.

The Street Tree Planting Permit asks for the tree location and type of tree you're proposing to plant. There are some important considerations to keep in mind when choosing a tree for a particular location.

Adopt-A-Tree Program

Adopt-A-Tree is a program managed by the City of Richmond’s Urban Forestry Division to encourage tree planting on public land in the City. The program allows citizens to pay $50 for a tree to be planted in a street tree well. Submissions are accepted between July-September every year, and tree plantings begin in November of the same year.
Download the application below or go to the FAQs.
oak-31915_960_720

Downloadable Forms and Information

Tree Planting

Tree Maintenace and Removal

Identifying Tree Location + Type

The permitting process is for trees that you are purchasing and planting on City-owned property, such as in a street tree well in front of your house.

The planting location will help determine what type - or species - of tree should go in that spot. The City's Tree Inventory Map (which we explore below) will help you understand what tree size at maturity should be planted in your chosen location.

We recommend choosing a native tree, which offers the most ecological benefits and are adapted to live in this area. Some examples are listed below, as well as links to native plant search tools.

Tree Size at Maturity

The size of tree at maturity helps define which tree you may plant, how far it should be from other trees, and what size tree you should purchase. Size of tree at maturity differs from size at purchase; size at maturity indicates how tall the tree will grow to be over time. It is a key distinction with street tree wells, as many street tree wells require smaller species of trees to fit under overhead lines.

Large Trees

Trees that reach a height of forty-five (45) feet or more at maturity.
white oak tree - large species
Example: White Oak
Other Common Examples:
Sycamore
Tulip Poplar
Walnut
Pine (Many species)
 
Size at purchase/planting:
1.24-1.5" in diameter; 8-10' tall
 
Spacing between trees:
40-60 ft away from each other from the center of the trunk

Medium Trees

Trees that reach a height of thirty to forty-five (30-45) feet at maturity.
River_Birch_Betula_nigra
Example: River Birch
Other Common Examples:
Black gum
Magnolias (Cucumber, Sweet bay)
Elm (American)
Serviceberry
 
Size at purchase/planting:
1.24-1.5" in diameter; 8-10' tall
 
Spacing between trees:
Minimum of 35ft away from each other from the center of the trunk

Small Trees

Trees that reach a height of twenty to thirty (20-30) feet at maturity.
Purple Prince Crabapple Tree
Example: Crabapple
Other Common Examples:
Dogwood
Choke cherry
Hawthorn
Redbud
 
Size at purchase/planting: 
5-6' tall with six or more branches
 
Spacing between trees:
Minimum of 25ft away from each other from the center of the trunk

If you have questions about native tree choices, or would like to talk to someone about your tree planting project, feel free to reach out to us: [email protected] or (804) 234-3905 ext. 107

VA Department of Conservation and Recreation also has a native plant search tool that is specific to Virginia.

Finding Tree Location Information

Before you submit a permit for a tree, you’ll want to reference the City of Richmond’s Tree Inventory Map. The map will let you know the exact tree well number and address of the spot you're planting in. It also indicates what tree size at maturity is needed for that spot.

Watch a short video to help you navigate the map:

Or read the instructions from the video:

Adopt-A-Tree FAQs

City of Richmond Contact Information - Urban Forestry Division

If you have a question about how to submit a permit or application, contact the Urban Forestry Division, 804-646-0681 or 804-646-3701. All of the forms are available on their homepage.