Community Tree Plantings

How to Plant Trees in Your Community: A Case Study

What was the process like?

Step-by-Step Guide to Planting Trees in Your Chosen Location:

  1. Selecting the Ideal Location: The first crucial step is to choose the perfect location for planting trees. Identify the ownership of the land, which could be City of Houston, Harris County Flood Control District, TxDOT, or private property. Before finalizing the location, it’s essential to submit a request to 811 to check for potential obstacles like power lines or gas lines. Utility entities will come out and mark areas where digging is not allowed, helping you decide the best spots for planting trees.
  2. Obtaining the Necessary Permits: If you plan to plant trees within the City of Houston (most common scenario), it is advisable to start the permitting process early. This procedure may take some time and involve back-and-forth communication, so being proactive is beneficial.
  3. Choosing the Right Tree Species: Prior to purchasing or accepting tree donations, ensure the species you intend to plant is approved for the area. Check the provided LINK to verify whether the species is suitable. For example, we sourced 15 Sweetgum trees and 1 Green Ash from a Tree Giveaway event organized by Trees for Houston. Additionally, Livelihood donated 4 Loblolly Pines, 4 American Sycamores, and 4 Bald Cypress trees.
  4. Planting the Trees: Planting day is an exciting and rewarding experience. Collaborate with partners like Livelihood, who can help you organize and promote the event. Trees for Houston generously contributed mulch (~5 gallons per tree) and 2 tree stakes per tree, along with the stakes needed for planting. Livelihood assisted us in recruiting volunteers from their following and provided guidance throughout the planting effort. The entire event usually takes about 3-4 hours to complete.
  5. Watering and Maintenance: The most critical commitment after planting is to ensure proper watering for at least the first 2 years. The Forestry Department mandates this for permit approval. Don’t let this responsibility discourage you from planting trees, as there are creative ways to manage watering effectively and ensure the trees thrive.

By following this comprehensive guide, you can successfully plant trees in your chosen location while adhering to necessary regulations and ensuring the trees’ well-being for years to come. Happy tree planting!

A Tale of Two Bridges is here to help! We can help navigate the whole process, work together to get the donations and/or fundraise for the materials so that community-driven projects like this get done!

“A society grows great when [our leaders] plant trees in whose shade they shall never sit.”

Greek philosopher and historian, Herodotus,


Nicholson St at W 8th St

Project Planting Date:

March 2023

Item Origin:

City of Houston


Trees for Houston

Mt. Sinai Baptist Church

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