You can take ownership of a street tree! Keep Durham Beautiful partners with City of Durham Department of General Services, Urban Forestry Division  to share the cost of purchase and planting street trees and urban shade trees in other public spaces like parks and greenways. Residents or community groups who adopt a street tree pay for roughly half the wholesale cost of the tree ($50 for ball and burlap trees or $10 for bare-root trees) and the City of Durham covers the other half as well as planting the tree.

What you do

  1. You fill out our Adopt-A-Tree Request Form (pdf)  or our online form requesting a street or park tree along with your donation of $50 to Keep Durham Beautiful. You may request a specific location and have input into the tree type in some cases. Species are selected from proven survivors which can tolerate a range of challenging site conditions, and are matched to the site. Although we cannot guarantee that we can honor your request, you will have an opportunity to withdraw or change your request.
  2. You water the tree once a week during periods without rain for one year to establish the tree.

What we do

  1. We work with you to determine a suitable location and tree type for your adoption.
  2. We purchase and plant the tree for you, and you may have the opportunity to assist with planting.
  3. Depending on location, we may provide mulch and/or temporary supplies such as staking supplies, trunk protection or gator bag for watering ease.
  4. City staff will select, locate, plant and maintain the tree in perpetuity.

What we all get

This innovative program facilitates replanting of dead, damaged or missing trees, and enhances the tree canopy for all to enjoy. Planting trees and other plants has many benefits:

  • filters pollution from the air
  • helps recycle water (slow water down and filters it before reaching streams and lakes)
  • prevents soil loss (keeps soil out of the streams)
  • create shade (less energy needed for cooling)
  • gives shelter from wind and rain
  • provides shelter and food for wildlife
  • provides an interesting, soothing learning environment for people
  • builds community and sense of well-being

For more information on the benefits of trees in our community, visit our Beautification page.

How to Get Started

Contact the Urban Forestry Manager Alex Johnson ( or 919-560-4197) with your questions.

  1. Download (pdf) and mail our Urban Tree Request Form with a check payable to Keep Durham Beautiful OR
  2. Complete the electronic form with online payment option below

Adopt-A-Tree: City of Durham Urban Tree Planting Form

Thank you for participating in the City of Durham Adopt-a-Tree cost-share program! Please fill out all the information below and proceed to PayPal payment, or if you prefer you can mail a check payable to Keep Durham Beautiful, 2011 Fay Street, Durham, NC 27704.
  • Contact Information

  • Planting Location and Tree Selection

    Site selection and tree variety will be at the discretion of the City of Durham Urban Forestry representative, with input from the person requesting the tree. If a suitable location and/or tree is not agreed upon, the adopter may request a refund in advance of planting.
  • Please only one address or site per form. You may complete additional forms for additional locations. Multiple trees may be placed at one site.
  • Please refer to the Adopt-a-Tree guidelines for more details regarding Mature Tree Size site suitability.
  • Please provide us with additional details about the location and preferred tree type.
  • Availabilty will vary from year to year and is not guarnanteed. Search university websites for description of tree by scientific name. Note: "small, medium, large" stands for size at maturity; "B&B, container, bare root" stands for size/cost at planting." See payment fields below.
  • Donation Calculation and Payment

  • Select the Tree Type (Size at Planting) and Quantity

    Please refer to the descriptions of Tree Type which refers to the way the trees come from nurseries, and which impacts the cost and size of the tree, from largest and most expensive, to smallest and least expensive. Please be sure that your tree type is available in the variety you selected.
  • Price: $50.00 Quantity:
  • Price: $25.00 Quantity:
  • Price: $10.00 Quantity:
  • Thank you! Your additional donations to the Adopt-a-Tree cost share program allows us to plant trees in public spaces and right-of-way strips where residents may not have the resources to otherwise participate.
  • If this additional donation is in honor of or memorial to someone, please list their name, and we will display the name on our website.
  • $0.00
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.