Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF) is a San Francisco nonprofit that promotes a larger, healthier urban forest in San Francisco through community planting, tree care, education, and advocacy. FUF plants approximately 1,100 trees per year. Staff and volunteers meet twice a month to complete neighborhood plantings together; approximately 66% of all the trees planted are new, and the rest are replacements.
All trees are requested by property owners, who work with FUF to care for and maintain the tree. FUF currently provides 3 years of maintenance support for each tree, including structural training and pruning of the tree at 2, 18, and 36 months after planting.
On a Saturday morning in the Noe Valley neighborhood of San Francisco, 35 volunteers came together with FUF staff to plant 40 trees. Volunteers are divided into small groups who each plant 3 – 5 trees over the course of the morning.
The trees are planted and three stakes are placed into the ground around each tree. The trees are connected to the stakes using ArborTie 2G, which has 900 pound tensile strength and comes on a 250 foot roll for easy portability. The ArborTie provides support while also allowing enough sway to help the tree develop trunk strength. Because of the high winds in San Francisco, ArborTie is placed at various heights in the tree branches, rather than solely around the tree trunk. This technique allows the ArborTie to stabilize the tree in place while avoiding concentrated stress due to the strain of high winds. When the trees are first planted, a simple knot is tied and nailed to the stake. At the 2 month maintenance check, the tree is inspected and, if necessary, the ArborTie is moved to ensure that the tree is getting support where it needs it most.