The TreePhilly program will be giving away free yard trees — some with edible fruit — at an event at Columbus Square on April 12. Partnered with the Fairmount Park Conservancy, the program will distribute up to two trees to any household or up to 10 to a community group that has interest and enough space.
These yard trees must be planted in the ground (so all of you container planters are out of luck). Also, the trees must be planted on private property, no sidewalks. Granted, most houses around here don’t have a ton of backyard acreage, to say the least, but there will be sign-up sheets for the next round of street trees, which would be planted by the city sometime this year.
TreePhilly will have tree experts on site to help guide potential tree owners with suggestions and tips on growing their new foliage. They will have all different sized saplings to fit grassy areas of all dimensions. One catch for a yard tree, you’ll have to pick it up and bring it home, except for residents with limited mobility.
If you register for a street tree, an arborist will come to your requested location to determine if the area is conducive to planting. After the inspection, a sign up form will need to be filled out and sent to the Department of Park and Rec. Upon receiving your form, trees will be sent to your area in April and May or October-December.
The city’s Department of Parks and Recreation created the TreePhilly program to increase the tree coverage to 30 percent throughout the city. Private properties provide the most opportunity for tree growth in the city. Let the plotting begin at TreePhilly.org.
The event is on April 12 from 10 a.m. to noon at Columbus Square Park, 12th and Wharton. You can preregister here.
– Will Preddy