Branching Out

Trees for East Palo Alto, Belle Haven, and North Fair Oaks

Between 2015 and 2020, Canopy will partner with East Palo Alto residents to plant 500 new trees in East Palo Alto neighborhoods, parks, and schools. In 2020, we have added Belle Haven and North Fair Oaks to this program!

Want a Free Tree? Click here to complete the form. You can also reach Community Forestry Coordinator, Arlene Nuñez Garcia, at 650-964-6110 ext. 4 or [email protected] for more information about the program.

About Branching Out:


  • Canopy is partnering with the City of East Palo Alto, the community of North Fair Oaks, CAL FIRE, and other partners to plant 500 trees over the next 5 years.
  • Free trees will be planted in neighborhoods where the residents want them.
  • Canopy will provide the trees and help select the right species for your location for free.
  • Residents must water the trees (15 gallons per week during the first summer, less water each year after that).
  • Canopy will trim and maintain the trees for the first 3 years. After that the tree(s) will become the responsibility of the City to maintain if they are planted in a parking strip or the city’s right-of-way in front of the yard. In East Palo Alto, the city’s right of way varies block by block, so contact Canopy if you are not sure where your private property begins and the city’s ends. A parking strip (grass/dirt area between the sidewalk and road, see photo) is ideal.
  • Canopy can also plant private trees in your front yard and backyard, but Canopy will need access to the tree for maintenance and check ups. Private trees will be the homeowner’s responsibility after the first 3 years, but Canopy will provide training for each tree steward.

To see what kinds of trees we are offering through this program, please see the Branching Out Tree List.

EPA “Branching Out” Highlights:

As of July 2019, Canopy and volunteers have planted over 2,900 trees in East Palo Alto!

February 1, 2020 – After months of engaging with residents, volunteers and neighbors helped Canopy replace the vandalized trees at Jack Farrell Park. The city provided protective caging to ensure that these trees will survive and benefit all visitors to this park.

January 21, 2019 – We honored the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior with a massive tree and landscape planting at MLK Park and at entry points to the recently reopened San Francisquito Creek Trail. With our partners at the San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority and Grassroots Ecology, we planted 102 trees and 189 plants with over 315 volunteers. See photos from the event courtesy of Jack Owicki.

January 15, 2018 – On Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Day, 205 volunteers joined us to plant 50 trees and 165 native and edible landscape plants at the new Rich May Memorial Field. The field is a joint effort between the Ravenswood City School District, St. Francis of Assisi, and the Rich May Foundation and these groups all helped contribute to the planting day event. See photos from the event courtesy of Teri Vershel with Pro-Bono Photo.

January 16, 2017 – Our second Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Day event! Over 200 volunteers joined Canopy and the City of East Palo Alto to plant 31 trees, install landscape plants, and clean up Jack Farrell Park. Together, we planted a tree to honor incoming City of East Palo Alto Mayor Larry Moody.

April 2, 2016 – Local residents of the Kavanaugh neighborhood reached out to Canopy in late 2015 when they heard about our tree planting activities in East Palo Alto. With their help, Canopy reached out to dozens of households, working with residents to identify planting sites, select tree species, and plan for the neighborhood gathering. In total, over 150 volunteers came out to participate. Canopy planting leaders led efforts to plant 49 new street and yard trees. Other volunteers picked up trash around the neighborhood and removed old chain link fences.

Funding for this project provided by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection as part of the California Climate Investments Program.

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