If you care about trees and greening our city, you have to check out this down-to-earth organization. Its community-based approach, along with the passionate staff and volunteers, makes this one of the best nonprofits in the U.S.
Friends of the Urban Forest helped me plant my first street tree outside my home when I was a brand new homeowner. Since then I have seen our city grow greener and greener as they have planted more trees and as small trees have grown into big trees. I love the variety of trees that they plant, their community events and volunteer network. I am now a Board Member and thrilled to keep pushing FUF's mission onward.
FUF does great work advocating for street trees. On our street, 25th Ave, in the Richmond FUF spearheaded our efforts to bring trees along the busy thorough fare from Lake to Fulton. I love my tree, which is growing well after 5+ years, and FUF helped by pruning it during its early years. When my tree was knocked over by an emergency vehicle, FUF loaned me the equipment needed to restore it upright. They do such great work all over our neighborhood and the City.
I'm a volunteer planting leader with FUF and I love it. This organization gets into every neighborhood, bringing out tons of neighborhood locals and citywide volunteers for massive tree plantings every two weeks. In my short time with FUF (couple years), we've planted thousands of trees in SF, which is a huge win for air quality, water management, street safety, beauty, community space and access. I always have a great time meeting the new volunteers on my planting crew whenever I come out, and the leadership is clearly very passionate about the mission.
Very organized group and so interested in helping to create more green space in San Francisco.
FUF helped us to choose two palms that would be appropriate to plant in our area. It was such an easy process for us to plant the palms. FUF organized that the city lines would be checked prior to digging and had the tree well square cut in the sidewalk.
We joined some others in a planting group the day of the planting. We, as a group, helped to plant several other neighbor's trees as well. You don't have to join the planting group of that's not your jam, FUF will do the entire planting for you but we thought it would be a nice thing to do in the community.
I hope others will consider planting trees at their home too. The price is very affordable as FUF has some major corporate donors onboard who help foot the bill.
It's a good group :)
The Friends of the Urban Forest is a well organized non profit that facilities the planting of much needed trees all over San Francisco. Their staff is very friendly and are great teachers. You learn how to plant and care for trees. All ages are welcome to help out. Also you volunteer to help make our city a better place. They also provide great lunches! My wife and friends have had a fun time the last three years.
I moved into a neighborhood where many of the planting strips had been paved over and on the entire block, there were only three street trees. Interested in greening the neighborhood I reached out to FUF and they were immediately responsive. Together we organized an evening reception (pre-COVID) at my house and as a result, two street trees were planted. Now three years later with established healthy trees that have improved the block, there is more interest and I am again reaching out to them for help. The before and after pictures promise to be dramatic.
FUF is a wonderful group I've enjoyed volunteering with for the past 7 years. Important (and crucial) mission and wonderful volunteer engagement. Always so impressed with the level of organization after every Saturday tree planting that I attend. Spotting FUF trees around the city makes me so happy and I hope they continue this work for decades to come!
I have been involved with FUF since about 1993 when I moved to San Francisco. I'm an avid volunteer and donor. FUF is a long-standing, vital organization to San Francisco. Greening our urban space is of utmost importance to the health of our citizens as well as the health of our planet. FUF makes all of that easy with their regular tree-plantings (with their staff), and involving the community in volunteer tree plantings. And they also do sidewalk gardens in the spots where trees won't work (utility lines, etc.) The staff and leadership are filled with folks who genuinely care for the environment and our city.
From my first time volunteering, I’m always amazed at how the community comes out in support on planting days. Through FUF, I’ve visited different parts of SF and learned something about the vibe of each neighborhood. FUF makes planting trees something to look forward to and once you do it the first time you are hooked! The team leads go a great job guiding teams and explaining the “why” behind each planting! It’s been a pleasure doing multiple plantings in my neighborhood to increase the presence of trees on the street and watch them grow over time. Coupled with the great people you volunteer with and seeing the appreciation from the community, FUF is one of the best local nonprofits to volunteer with!
FUF is an amazing organization and non profit. The work they do along with all the volunteers who show up every other Saturday morning to plant trees make a REAL and physical change to San Francisco. Volunteering at FUF will make you feel good to be human and know you did a part to fight climate change on a local level. I promise you'll be hooked and go back for more.
I work for California ReLeaf, a statewide NGO working on urban forestry policy in Sacramento. FUF staff members are a pleasure to work with and are great partners when it comes to advocating for funding in the State Capitol and San Francisco. They are professional and passionate about what they do to improve the City of SF. It is also great that FUF is always willing to share their knowledge with other nonprofits - they take what they have learned from being an urban forest nonprofit with organizations in other parts of California.
Trees planted and maintained by Friends of the Urban Forest have improved the streets in my neighborhood and across the city. Their wonderful email reports on what's blooming in our city and ways to support wildlife are a welcome injection of positivity in my inbox (and my life). Thank you FUF!
Friends of the Urban Forest is just the greatest non-profit to be a part of. I volunteer with them 2 to 3 times a year, and always have a wonderful time planting or pruning, the staff take the time to make sure that all of the volunteers understand all of the how's and why's of the projects, and they will give you as much work as you want or can handle. Overall, fuf is a win-win situation for all. The environment gets more trees which beautify our city and of course there's the oxygen thing, and you get a great sense of accomplishment, and everytime you walk down that street, you can see the growth of the tree you helped to plant. And there is a lot to learn from the staff, and there's coffee!
An awesome nonprofit group aimed to improve tree diversity in urban environments. The volunteers are amazing and enthusiastic workers and the team leads are passionate and knowledgeable environmentalists.
Friends of the Urban Forest is tirelessly dedicated to planting street trees in San Francisco (over 50,000 so far) and taking care of those trees for the first 5 years. Now partnering with the San Francisco city government. Brings in many local business organizations for specific projects and for general volunteering. Also sponsors removing concrete from sidewalks and replacing it with sidewalk gardens, where there is room. There are no frills in this organization, the office is efficient and businesslike, the staff is fairly paid but no more. The money donated goes to the right place, that is, to the end result of street trees.
I used to work for them. They were great about getting the community involved and fostering relationships with the interns and volunteers. I was not as knowledgeable before walking in those doors but now I can see why they are a valuable asset to San Francisco. I hope they continue to grow and stay with us for many years to come.
Friends of the Urban Forest in San Francisco does a remarkable job beautifying our treeless streets and avenues, transforming them into the glory of tree canopies. And they are a great educational resource! TREES may well be the saviors of our planet, and Friends of the Urban Forest is making sure that our city it taking part in this effort.
I have lived in the city for 40 years and have been both a volunteer(more than a handful)and a recipient(more than several)of this wonderful group and the service they provide to beautify our city. In both a scheduled neighborhood drive and specific installations Friends of the Urban Forest always fulfils. They even come out and repair when a car has smashed the tree sideways! thank you Friends of the Urban Forest!
Working with FUF has reinvigorated a love for this city. I feel better about San Francisco, my community, and myself every time I volunteer with them. Plus, it’s easy to bring friends along and they love it so much that they come back!
I love how they engage the SF community with nature. They are making the city more beautiful, addressing climate change, and helping local ecosystems thrive all at once. Thank you for your work!
FUF is a 40-year-old San Francisco non-profit that has encouraged citizens to beautify barren city streets with climate-friendly trees. My own house benefited from six saplings twenty years ago that are now six 30-foot tall trees. Despite the challenges of keeping a non-profit going through a couple of recessions, FUF thrives because of the citizen support it has maintained and the energetic, dedicated staff it has attracted.
I’ve volunteered with FUF for several years to improve the city’s tree canopy, which is one of the worst in the urban areas in country. Greening is so critical as our climate warms, with the horrific effects increasing yearly. Volunteers work tirelessly—and joyfully—to better the city and the world.
FUF helped us to plant a tree outside our house in 1999. It was a skinny little thing then, now it is a beauty (see photo). I think FUF is a fantastic organisation and really makes a difference in terms of greening the city, but also educating people about the importance of having trees and looking after them and importantly bringing people together. Bravo FUF, long may you continue!
Friends of the Urban Forest totally transformed out street from a somewhat barren urban hardscape to a calming and beautiful landscaped street. They were able to coordinate with required sidewalk improvements and leverage city grants to reduce storm water drainage volumes to overloaded downhill systems to go above and beyond in providing opportunities not just for new street trees but also surrounding sidewalk gardens as well. They have proven themselves dynamic and savvy in ways that benefit both their primary objective and the neighborhoods in which they operate. And we notice that their expertise in picking the perfect little native tree for under the low power lines (California lilac) has now been noticed and replicated by homeowners other places in the neighborhood.
I had a wonderful experience at our neighborhood tree planting organized by FUF! I didn't realize how easy it could be to get a tree in front of my house. FUF made it incredibly easy and because it was a neighborhood event, I got to meet more of my neighbors and the whole area looks so much better and greener!
Minnie, thank you for the nice review. We're glad you had such a good experience with greening your neighborhood. Please join us any time to plant more trees throughout San Francisco!
This group has been in SF for I believe 30+ years and is not only responsible for beautifying and planting many of the trees in SF, but the way the plantings are organized many goals are achieved at one time: community volunteers and neighbors, working with a well trained staff pitch in to do the plantings, youth do plantings, as well as through a youth program they get valuable training in pruning, etc, and learn arborist skills. There is a potluck after each planting that brings community together. The website is so well organized and it is easy to volunteer, the calendar of events is clear. The tree care support and follow up shows they really care about their mission to green SF streets. I was very impressed with the planning meeting and the breadth of knowledge the group has about trees, specifically, the planners know which trees grow better in which areas of the city. A great non profit that benefits the community on many levels: greening the city, creating community bonds, training youth and employing young people. They are very efficient in the way they go about the tree plantings. They also reach out to corporations and students or others who need to meet community service requirements. It is a fun and productive way to spend a 1/2 day, and FUF really cares about SF and it's citizens!
Thank you for this great review!
Terrific non-profit. Has helped to transform the streets of SF with its tree planting program. Easy to work with the FUF team when organizing volunteer events. I've served as both a volunteer and a client served.
Thanks for the nice review, and for volunteering with us, and for getting a tree to make your neighborhood greener!
This is a fantastic, effective, knowledgeable and hard working group...that spends its money only on trees and planting trees for everyone to enjoy.
It has little overhead...no fancy parties, no 'fundraiser balls'...and it is modest and honest. It's goals are worthy...and the results of its work can be seen every day all around SAN FRANCISCO. It's worthy of great and continuous support.
FUF has improved SAN FRANCISCO streets for the last thirty years. It plants the most beautiful trees...a variety of trees..that thrive outside schools and on forlorn streets and on busy streets and neglected areas and historic neighborhoods. I admire and support FRIENDS OF THE URBAN FOREST. BEST--DIANE DORRANS SAEKS
Thank you very much Diane!
I started volunteering for FUF when I was new to San Francisco. My front yard was cement and needed some life! I signed up to plant a tree and have since helped others plant front yard trees. FUF helps beautify the city, clean the air, improve your mood with increased green space, and increase habitat for birds and bees. These people are dedicated to increasing the Urban greenscape and we all benefit!
I love FUF!! I have had two trees planted in my front yard and also had cement removed and a new front yard planted! I became my block captain; I didn't succeed the first go around to get 5 households to plant but I did the second time! After one tree died, FUF agreed to replace my tree! This is a great organization and wonderful people who work there! 5 stars for sure! You all rock!
I walk around many neighborhoods in the city of San Francisco and just about everywhere I walk, I see the results of my donation: trees planted in sidewalks. And, I find the newsletter very helpful in telling me about watering to maintain existing trees, weeds that should be pulled, how to get services, and other interesting topics. The newsletter is just right, not too long or too short so I read all of it. They also respond quickly to email inquiries such as my question about the gravel around the base of the new trees planted in the widened sidewalks in the Castro. The assured me the dense gravel was permeable.
Urban forestry is an important field that needs more Supporters such as Friends of the Urban Forest.
They are doing for SF what the city chose not to: street tree planting and maintenance in the tree early years. Shame on you SF and kudos to the Friends of the Urban Forest!
Having administered many grant projects awarded to Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF) over the years, it has been a pleasure to see these many dollars work wonders at the local level. Between their fundraising, advocacy and outreach, education of local citizen foresters and operational talents, FUF is truly an integral facet of the urban forest community and of the city they have worked so hard to positively transform. They would almost assuredly act as an influential and productive partner for anyone looking to work with them.
Friends of the UrbanForest are the reason for our beautiful Olive tree on our front sidewalk. They have helped plant many other trees in our neighborhood and throughout San Francisco. Not to mention the sidewalk gardens they create. Their work helps create clean air and habitat for birds and pollinators. We love FUF!!!
I thought Friends of the urban forest was just something out of San Francisco's history. But then I saw a Facebook post offering an urban forestry course for verney or work exchange. So I took it and what a fabulous dynamic strong community group it is. Caring for trees which are essential to our survival through the climate change trials and bringing in teenagers who are less advantaged showing them the beauty and wonder and importanceof trees. Friends of the urban forest Deserves all the alkaloids; stronger community,better informed community, healthier communities. Friends of the urban Forest Fosters not only good citizenship but also good planetary keepership. may we all do more to sequester carbon in the soil.
I lived in San Francisco for 12 years (1996-2008), in the Outer Richmond district out near the ocean, which is relatively barren of trees. I decided to do personally do something about this lack of trees; get involved to feel better than frustrated, sad, and powerless about the lack of greenery around my apt. and neighborhood.
I'd heard about FUF, saw their signs on newly-planted street trees, and called them up. In short, I ended up taking the leap in as a volunteer planting manager in my neighborhood. To be honest, it was more work than I thought it would be — but completely worth it. As the saying goes, you get out of something what you put into it. For instance, in going door-to-door to ask who'd be willing to join my/our local tree-planting campaign by putting one one in front of their home ( having them ask their landlord to allow it, as mine did), I met dozens of fellow tree and nature lovers!
I also learned that even people who don't love trees like I do can be convinced because their PROPERTY'S VALUE INCREASES by having trees out front to provide shade, sound-deadening tree canopies, and trees' aesthetic beauty.
I've since moved out of the city, but still have a great appreciation and respect for this little organization that has planted so many thousands of street trees, adding so much life and quiet and clean air to SF — and building communities of nature-loving friends to get out there and actively demonstrate the value of trees — by planting them.
More trees, please! Thank you, Friends of the Urban Forest.
Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF) is an excellent very well run non-profit providing a much needed service in the City of San Francisco. FUF provides the opportunity for beautifying the city while making an important impact on our global warming issues. They provide a much needed effort to expand the greenery in the city and work closely with the city's parks dept. to make a bigger difference for our community. I strongly support their work and encourage any of you checking on them to do the same.
I was part of our neighborhood planting, which brought trees to many completely tree-less areas. In addition to the help with flood control, it makes our street look warm and inviting.
Throughout the whole process, I was impressed with the knowledge and professionalism of the business. San Francisco has micro climates, which means individual blocks would support different kind of trees. After consultation, I now have a tree that is specifically chosen for my conditions.
I also love the fact that they don't just plant and go, but do periodic checkups on the health of the tree.
And a really nice part of the whole process was getting to know some of my neighbors, since all plantings were done by local residents (with some volunteers.)
This has to be one of the most inclusive and helpful nonprofits in the Bay Area. They fight to get tree plantings done in all areas of the city, educate youth and the adult citizens about drought tolerant trees, and explain issues to voters such as taking care of street trees being part of the city budget. One of the BEST out there!
I signed up with Friends of the Urban Forest to give a little something back to the city and meet great people. Score on both counts! The staff at FUF are super nice and friendly and the other volunteers are great as well - bad people don't plant trees!
Plus it's really nice to see different parts of the city that I normally wouldn't go to on my own. And seeing a neighborhood transform in just a day with all the newly planted trees is just awesome.
I get excited everytime I see the FUF label on a tree, new or old! FUF gave me the opportunity not just to plant trees but to explore a neighborhood I've never spent time in before.
10 years ago Friends of the Urban Forest came to my horticulture class at City College looking for interns for their tree care program. This was my first introduction to the proper care and maintenance of trees. After the year I got a job as ground crew for a tree trimming service. A year later I passed my ISA certification and was promoted to being a climber. Two years later I started my own business. Four years later Trees Company became incorporated and now has five full time employees. We continue to volunteer for the organization that got me started on my path.
In my first FUF experience, I was struck by how many neighbors approached us while we were planting to thank us. They truly appreciate the work FUF does for their streets. We even had one nice fellow pound in the last nail of the tree brace! It's a great org that improves the quality of life for the community.
Every time I finish a volunteer stint with FUF, I walk away knowing that (1) I've improved the lives of people (and any living being) right now and in the future; (2) I've done something to create community in the participating neighborhoods. Basically, FUF doesn't just plant trees, it seeds hope - for now and the future.
FUF is the best. The volunteers are so friendly and the management really helpful in answering question about planting and care of trees. These are all people who donate their time and money to for he environment. This is a foundation that adds to the betterment of the environment as well as the aesthetic value and pleasure of neighborhoods.
The staff and education while I volunteered with FUF was increidbly rewarding. Each time I volunteered I walked away with a new friend, new thoughts and inspiration about the environment, and a good heart.
Friends of the Urban Forest is a unique and special organization. Unlike a lot of other organizations, FUF is all about positivity -- and about greening the local San Francisco community. Trees in particular provide countless benefits, both environmental and psychological, and San Francisco needs more of them. FUF fills this demand and does an incredible job, but the organization cannot do it alone. FUF needs to expand to cover the growing desire for not only more trees, but tree maintenance, education and care.
In short, we need more FUFs in this world! I am so happy to have volunteered and have been connected to such a fabulous -- and greatly needed -- nonprofit.
Great volunteer experience. In one morning we planted 6 trees that will benefit the city for decades to come!
I've been fortunate enough to volunteer with Friends of the Urban Forest during the last year, and my neighborhood has personally benefitted tremendously from their hard work and vision of a greener San Francisco. The city government doesn't seem particularly invested in planting street trees or putting in sidewalk gardens, so it's wonderful that there's a well-established and well-organized non-profit here to beautify San Francisco's streets and neighborhoods! It also brings together lovely mixtures of people from different communities who might not otherwise be likely to intermingle and work together. it's one of the best non-profits in the city.
FUF adds to the quality of life for all San Franciscans. They are incredibly organized and knowledgeable. They helped us and many of our neighbors with choosing the right kind of tree, get the permits, cut the sidewalk, plant the tree and have a potluck afterwards in the park. They not only plant trees, they plant the seeds to grow community. They are friendly and nice to everyone. We rent so we needed the landlord's approval to plant a tree. FUF gave us plenty of notice to get his signature and then they did all the rest. Now we have a beautiful strawberry tree in front of our flat.
FUF is a great organization. I've had so much fun & met so many great people while planting trees in San Francisco! They do a great job of organizing plantings, giving us coffee & treats before and after plantings. All we have to is volunteer & show up. They have taught me so much about trees, tree care, tree policy and offer even more training about trees and organizing the community to keep planting and growing the urban forest. It's something I love to do that not only benefits San Francisco, but the whole world. I only wish we could do more to increase the number of trees planted and the benefits they give us.
FUF has far exceeded my expectations! A couple years ago I signed up for the Community Forester training program which was led by staff and taught by expert arborists from all over the Bay Area. I finally got the tree botany I'd always wanted plus hands-on training in tree planting, pruning, disease identification, and much more.
Going out weekly with groups and leaders resulted in skill building, big impact in greening the city, and, as a newcomer to San Francisco, getting acquainted with our wonderful neighborhoods.
I loved that our groups represented the ethnic and age diversity of the city. There often was a post-work pot-luck lunch which was not only delicious but so important for building community relationships.
I volunteered with FUF in both tree maintenance and tree planting capacities. Both jobs are important and they have great people working there. They can always use more qualified people to support their needs, but they are well organized and get a lot of tree work done around the city. Saturday plantings are fun events.
FUF is such a fun organization to volunteer with. I was first drawn to FUF by the idea of greening San Francisco, what an awesome vision! The team at FUF is a really fun group, truly passionate about making the city a better place to live. Not only do they share the long-term impact of planting trees and sidewalk gardens, there's a lot of hands-on practice in planting trees. There's something really beautiful about a group of strangers coming together to make the city a more beautiful place. And it doesn't hurt that the volunteer lunches and BBQ's are always a fun way to get to know people.
We first learned about FUF because we wanted a tree in our sidewalk basin, at least 12 or more years ago. They gave us excellent advice on choice - a Tristainia - and since then we have enjoyed volunteering for plantings and tree walks with them in our neighborhood. It's been fun, and interesting, to learn from their experience over the years; they're efficient; they feed us well; they take care of trees; we see their work in the greening of SF everywhere.
I did a tree planting with FUF in our neighborhood (Sunnyside) recently, & was impressed with the organization for planting of trees, the management of our team, and the care taken to plant the trees well. The trees chosen by the homeowners were appropriate for the neighborhood, and in most cases the owners worked with us on all the trees, not just their own. The leader of our group was especially well-informed and competent. It was efficient and sociable! We became aware of FUF during a tree planting here several years ago. We got a tree, & their advice was excellent - our tree is truly beautiful & well suited to the neighborhood. I'd say the same of most of the FUF trees that have been planted here. Some homeowners are careless about watering & care, but on the whole, they & FUF chose well.
I manage a local business and had the pleasure of working with FUF to replace a tree that had died in front of our location. The FUF team was extremely helpful in making us aware of the process including removing the old one efficiently, tree selection (considering wind, sun, and watering frequency), and what the future requirements would be to properly care for the new tree. After the planting I had various care related questions to which the FUF team responded warmly, always. Through it all they made me extremely confident in the choice to work with them for our planting needs.
I (and my staff) deeply appreciate the help FUF gave us as well as their work towards the growth of our community's urban forest.
FUF rocks! I have done a couple plantings with fuf and on both occasions felt very grateful for the organization. They are doing a huge part of greening san francisco and making the city a better place for future generations. The staff is super nice and the fellow volunteers are always cheery. The post-planting potluck is fun, too.
I worked with Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF) to have a tree planted out in front of my home. I also worked with my neighbors to get four new trees planted on the block and one around the corner. We all were thrilled with the result and the incredible helpfulness of the personnel who worked with us at FUF, a nonprofit organization. San Francisco needs more trees and this is the organization to support to make more trees a reality in our lovely city. After my experience, I expect to do some volunteer work with FUF.
I volunteered with FUF at the Noriega St. sidewalk planting. It was amazing!!! It was such a great way to get together within the community to better our neighborhood. FUF allowed us this chance. Everyone was incredibly nice and helpful and I even met people from the neighborhood that I hand't known before, which is always a treat. Everyone joined together for a potluck afterwards and it was really nice to hang out with people who had helped throughout the day. Also, I cannot forget to mention how wonderful the plants on the sidewalk look now. It is a real transformation and has brought a new life to the street. We have FUF and the volunteers to thank for that!
FUF is a wonderful organization that helps to beautiful our neighborhoods by helping property owners and others plant trees. This process can be daunting if you try to do it yourself, but FUF makes it easy and less expensive and therefore gets folks who might not plant a tree actually do it.
They also follow-up to make sure you are watering and caring for the tree and answer any questions you might have.
They definitely are fostering a better environment and getting neighbors to work together.
I am an active volunteer with many non-profits in San Francisco, including Friends of Urban Forest. They are by far some of the nicest and most dedicated group of people I have ever had the pleasure of working with. The positive impact they have had on the streets of San Francisco is quite amazing. They are my favorite non-profit to work with, due to the combination of team quality, mission, execution, dedication and passion for their cause. I hope they continue to stay around and thrive for decades to come. We need more trees in all cities of the world.
I have been a FUF volunteer for the past 5 years, and I intend to continue volunteering for many more years. Why FUF? Because my efforts help keep San Francisco green and the air healthy, I enjoy planting trees and knowing they're going to grow tall, I love being part of the FUF community which is very positive and high energy, I enjoy working with the FUF staff and other enthusiastic volunteers, and finally I get to know other community members at our delicious pot luck after our planting. Need I say more?