Brookings Urban Forest Initiative

Graphic of a neighborhood with trees With text that says Brookings Urban Forest Initiative


It's back! The Urban Forest Initiative has been a huge success since 2021, so we are offering it again this year! 

Program Start Date:  Earth Day - April 22nd (tree purchase receipts must be dated April 22nd or later).

Program Description

The Brookings Urban Forest Initiative is designed to enhance the health, long term sustainability, & beauty of our community’s trees.  Many of the trees we value in Brookings are mature & some are in decline. With the looming threat of the Emerald Ash Borer, now is the time to take the steps to ­ensure that our community forest remains a signature part of life in Brookings. The City is excited to offer property owners the chance to plant trees at little or no cost on your property. ­And, this program helps us remain a Tree City USA!


The program is open to City of Brookings residents.


Maximum of two trees per property per year. (NOTE: Trees planted in boulevard areas will require City approval prior to planting and reimbursement. Please call Parks and Recreation at (605) 692-2708 for additional information.)

Tree Species

The list of approved trees is available at participating tree nurseries and by visiting the link below.  Some of the participating businesses are:  Austreim Landscaping, Norm's Greenhouse & Nursery, Six Mile Nursery, Lewis, and Runnings. 



NEW this year, approved participants will pick-up a voucher from the Park, Rec & Forestry Office (520 3rd St, Ste 130; Mon–Thur 7 AM–5 PM, Fri 8 AM–Noon) for use up to $125/tree planted & you will pay any remainder cost. The vendor then submits the voucher to the Park, Rec & Forestry Office for their payment. If you aren’t comfortable planting your own tree, you may submit a receipt for a planting reimbursement, payable to you, up to $40/tree. These receipts will be turned into the Park, Rec & Forestry Office with reimbursement possibly taking up to 4 weeks until you receive a City issued check.

*Reimbursements may take up to four weeks after submittal – (Checks will be issued through the City Finance Office.)


Trees may be planted in your own yard or on City boulevards (with location approval).


Visit the Arbor Day Foundation Tree Planting & Care page for tree care and planting tips.

If you need additional information or advice on planting locations, please contact the City of Brookings Forestry Division at 605-692-2708.


1.  Decide where to plant your trees. Note: If you’d like one on the boulevard please contact us to determine the location.

  • No boulevard trees other than those trees listed as small trees may be planted under or within ten lateral feet of any overhead utility line, or over or within five lateral feet of any underground water line, sewer line or transmission line.
  • No tree plantings will be allowed within an alley right-of-way.
  • The clear space distance between the curb and sidewalk must be four feet for a small tree, six feet for a medium tree and eight feet for a large tree.

2.  Get your voucher from the Park, Rec, & Forestry Office (520 3rd St, Ste 130 during regular office hours).

  • Funds are limited so available on a first come, first serve basis!
  • All trees must be on the preferred/acceptable tree list. Deciduous trees must be a minimum of six feet tall and spruce, pine, and juniper trees must be a minimum of two feet tall.

3.  Visit your local tree nursery & ask which trees qualify for the program.

  • All trees must be on the preferred/acceptable tree list. Deciduous trees must be a minimum of 6' tall and spruce, pine, & juniper trees must be a minimum of 2’ tall.

 4. Plant your trees & enjoy!

  • Remember to call South Dakota One Call before you dig - Dial 811!