Get a free tree through city’s ‘TreePhilly’ yard tree program

September 18, 2013


These trees will soon be ready to leave the nursery and go to your yard. Photo via

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PP&R) has announced the return of its hugely popular TreePhilly Yard Tree Program. Registration for the fall program is open through October 31 and property owners can apply to receive a free yard tree to plant on their private property by visiting

For the first time, residents who pre-register for the Yard Tree Program will be eligible to receive a fruit tree. There will be 8 to 10 species of trees to choose from at each giveaway event, all available on a first come, first-served basis. Philadelphia residential property owners can request up to two trees per address and community groups who will be planting on private property with a community use, such as faith-based institutions and senior centers, can register for up to 10 trees. During pre-registration, residents will be able to choose from four giveaway events across the city in November. At each giveaway event there will be free mulch and tote bags, and tree planting and care demonstrations, provided by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

Unfortunately, none of the four pick-up locations are in West Philadelphia, with the closest being in South Philly (the other three are in North Philly). You can pick up your tree on Sunday, Nov. 10, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Columbus Square Playground (1200 Wharton St.). If there are any changes, we’ll let you know.

Residents with limited mobility can apply for free tree delivery and planting by a representative from Philadelphia Parks & Recreation. Space for this service is limited and residents are encouraged to apply early by contacting Erica Smith Fichman at 215-683-0217 or by visiting

There are several ways citizens can get involved with TreePhilly, including planting and caring for trees on their property, volunteering for a tree planting event in their local park, or sponsoring community service days to plant and maintain trees. For more information, citizens can visit or call 215-683-0217.

3 Comments For This Post

  1. Keith Says:

    I hate to be a buzzkill, but these cute little saplings grow into big trees. On your typical city lot, this means the roots will threaten your foundation, and the branches will threaten your windows and roof. I guess this is a good way to keep contractors in business over the next 20-50 years, but I have to question the wisdom of encouraging people to plant trees right next to their houses.

  2. Treehugger Says:

    Keith, you will be happy to know that this program offers both large and small trees, so if you have a small lot, you can plant a small tree with a small root structure and small canopy. They are, you know, professionals.

  3. Arwin Says:

    Last time there was a giveaway, TreePhilly posted a PDF with all of the tree types, including their mature size, lighting needs, etc. People who want trees will definitely need to do their research, but, like Treehugger said, there are lots of options that will fit many different environments.

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