Tree Planting Rebates

About the Program

 Three large trees that have just been planted in a well-landscaped front yard.

Join 168 Kirkland neighbors who've planted 639 trees through the tree rebate program!

City of Kirkland provides rebates or pre-paid certificates up to $150 per tree, with a maximum total of $500 per property in 2023. Use the quick links below to learn about participating, but please read all steps outlined in the rebate/certificate process sections below.

The Tree Planting Rebate program is run by the City's Storm & Surface Water Division. Trees help prevent flooding in our neighborhoods, provide shade for our homes, and help filter pollutants to provide clean water for Lake Washington. The City's primary goal for this program is to increase tree canopy to help reduce rainwater runoff.

As trees grow and mature, their environmental benefits increase. The larger canopies and root systems of mature trees can soak up rainwater runoff now, while planting new trees can help us in the long-term. This is why it is so important retain existing trees in addition to planting new ones.

Did you know? Evergreen trees, like Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar, capture and absorb more than 60% of the rain that falls on them throughout the year. This helps prevent flooding and reduces rainwater runoff. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Do Rebates & Certificates Cover?

Rebates or certificates cover:

  • The cost of trees (delivery and installation not included)
  • Necessary amounts of compost soil amendments and mulch top dressing in the immediate area around the tree (generally 2-3 bags of each)
  • Watering bags to help trees survive summer months


Is There a Limit to Rebates?

Rebates and certificates are limited to $500 per property and  a lifetime maximum of $1,000 per property.  Funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until the 2024 program funds run out. Details regarding the process and eligibility are below.

As of 1/24/2024 there are 98% of rebate funds remaining for 2024.

 

What Is the Deadline to Participate?

Trees must be planted and rebate form submitted before 11/30/24. Certificates expire 11/30/2024.

 

What is the Difference Between Rebates & Certificates?

What's the difference between a rebate and a certificate?

Rebate Certificate
  •  Must pay money out of pocket and wait to receive rebate check in the mail. 
  • Little to no out-of-pocket costs. Certificates are pre-paid for use at participating nurseries.  
  •  Freedom to purchase trees from anywhere. 
  •  Limited to purchasing trees from participating nurseries. 

What if the Tree I Want Isn't On the Pre-Approved List?

Are you interested in a tree that is not on the list, or the name doesn't fully match? No problem! To encourage planting more trees to help soak in rainwater runoff, we will approve most trees as long as they are a species that will reach at least 15 feet tall and 10 feet wide when mature. 

Email us your desired tree species name for approval. You will not receive rebates if you choose a tree not on the list without approval first. If you have questions about your tree selection, please email kschmiett@kirklandwa.gov prior to purchasing.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rebate Process

1) Take and Pass Online Tree Planting Course

Participants must take and pass (score greater than 70%) Kirkland's online tree planting course to help ensure trees survive and thrive on your property.  

Upon completion and passing of the course, City staff will email you to follow up on next steps. Do not buy or plant your tree yet. 

Take the online course

2) Purchase and Plant Your Tree

Trees on this Kirkland Tree Rebate List(PDF, 362KB) are pre-approved. The name on the nursery tag must exactly match the name on the list.

Are you interested in a tree that is not on the list, or the name doesn't fully match? No problem! To best soak in rainwater runoff, we will approve most trees as long as they are a species that will reach at least 15 feet tall and 10 feet wide when mature. Email us your desired tree species name for approval. If a tree you are interested in planting is not on the list, you must receive approval from City of Kirkland staff prior to purchasing plants. 

  • Be sure to always call 811 at least 48 hours prior to planting to locate buried utilities. 
  •  Follow the City of Kirkland's Tree Planting Guide(PDF, 8MB) when you plant your tree(s). 


You will not receive rebates if you choose a tree not on the list without approval first. If you have questions about your tree selection, please email kschmiett@kirklandwa.gov prior to purchasing.  

3) Submit Rebate Form

After your tree planting is complete, complete the online rebate form and be prepared to submit the following items:

  • W-9 Form(PDF, 64KB)
  • Photo of planted tree
  • Proof of payment including an itemized receipt
  • Photo of nursery tag on tree

Online Rebate Form

City staff may also need to physically inspect your tree planting on a case by case basis.

After approval of your rebate paperwork, you can expect a check from the City in 2-3 weeks! 

 

Certificate Process

1) Take and pass online tree planting course

Participants must take and pass (score greater than 70%) Kirkland's online tree planting course to help ensure trees survive and thrive on your property.  

Upon completion and passing of the course, City staff will email you to follow up on next steps. Do not buy or plant your tree yet. 

Take the online course

2) Visit a WSNLA Nursery

Go to a participating WSNLA nursery to get a cost estimate. Obtain price information for:

  • The kind of tree(s) you want to plant, taking note of the common and scientific names of each species
  • Necessary amount of compost/mulch (generally 2-3 bags/tree)
  • Watering bags (2 bags per tree max)

Feel free to talk to nursery employees for tree and soil amendment recommendations. 

Note that vouchers can only be used to buy trees, necessary amounts of compost and mulch amendments, and watering bags. Plants, shrubs, bushes, and flowers are not allowed in this program. Vouchers cannot pay for delivery or installation.

DO NOT BUY TREES OR SUPPLIES YET


3) Submit Certificate Application

Complete the Online Tree Certificate Application with as much detail as possible. Be ready to provide the common and scientific names listed on the nursery tag, as well as the total estimated cost from the nursery for all materials. Your certificate will be issued for the exact amount you specify on the certificate application. You should also be ready to submit a signed maintenance agreement(PDF, 96KB)

Staff will review your application and, if approved, mail you your certificate and approval letter within 2 weeks. 

Tree Certificate Application

4) Kirkland Mails Certificate

If your application is approved, Kirkland staff will mail your tree certificate within 2 weeks of the application. 

5) Purchase and Plant Tree

Bring your certificate and approval letter with you back to the nursery to purchase your tree(s) and supplies. You have until 11/30/2023 to use your certificate. 

When you are done planting, send a photo of your planted tree(s) to  kschmiett@kirklandwa.gov.

 

Program Requirements

Eligibility Requirements

  • Trees rebates cannot be used to remove/replace existing trees on the property. Properties with a tree removal issued in the previous 12 months will only be eligible for 50% of the normal rebate/certificate.
  • Trees must be planted within Kirkland City Limits. 
  • Trees must be planted on property you own. If you do not own the property (i.e. tenant or renter) you must obtain written permission from the owner to plant trees. 
  • Trees must be planted on your private property and not in the City right of way. Use the Kirkland Map Browser to see your approximate property boundaries. 
  • Tree planting that is required to meet a condition of development, City Code, or permit is not eligible. Only voluntary tree planting is eligible for this rebate program. 

Tree Requirements

  • For the purposes of this program, trees are defined as woody plants whose height is greater than 15 feet and canopy width is greater than 10 feet at maturity
  • Trees must be selected from the Kirkland Tree Rebate Pre-Approved List(PDF, 362KB)
    • Trees not on this list may be approved on a case by case basis. Contact kschmiett@kirklandwa.gov for tree eligibility questions. Trees planted that are not on the above list and have not received official approval from City staff will not be rebate eligible. 
  • The following trees are not eligible and are prohibited: English holly, European mountain ash, English laurel, Sycamore maple, Common hawthorn, Black locust, Tree-of-heaven

 

Rebate Requirements

  • Rebates are limited to $150 per tree with a maximum rebate of $500 per property per year. Rebates are limited to a $1,000 lifetime maximum per property. 
  • Eligible rebates cover the cost of trees, necessary amounts of compost for soil amendment, and necessary amounts of mulch to protect the soil. Rebates can also cover the cost of watering bags to help trees survive summer drought. Rebates do not cover the cost of delivery, installation, etc.
  • Participants must first take and pass (70% or higher) online tree planting course prior to purchasing trees. 

Rebates are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until 2024 program funds run out.

If your total rebate is less than $500, the remaining difference will still be held for your parcel but will depend on the overall program fund. For example, if your rebate is $300. You will potentially have $200 still to use for future tree planting. However, the remaining $200 is not guaranteed and program funds may be depleted or expire beforehand. If you plan to use your remaining funds, please contact  kschmiett@kirklandwa.gov for program status/approval prior to purchasing/planting your tree. 

Planting Requirements

  • It is the property owner’s responsibility to ensure the tree is planted in an appropriate place on their property including:
    • At least 10 feet from buildings, 5 feet from property lines, 5 feet from pavement edges, 20 feet from streetlights and other trees, 30 feet from corner curbs, and 10 feet from underground utilities.
    • City of Kirkland is not responsible for or liable for any future damage caused by trees planted through this program.
  • The property owner is responsible for following tree planting and tree care best practices provided in the City’s Tree Planting(PDF, 8MB) and Tree Care(PDF, 3MB) guides. The City will not provide additional rebates/vouchers for trees that do not survive.
    • City of Kirkland staff will conduct annual follow up with participants to check on tree health and provide maintenance/care recommendations. 


 

Program Accomplishments

View the online dashboard highlighting the tree rebate program accomplishments.A few notable accomplishments include:

  • 168 participants
  • 639 trees planted
  • 455,571 gallons of rainwater intercepted each year