Register online in advance, walk-ins welcome except where noted
Yes, last weekend's thaw was a tease, but it got us thinking about planting even though spring won't officially start for another month. Philly trees are also thinking spring, spreading "arborly love" this month with speech-bubble-love-notes aloft in the branches of trees in Rittenhosue Square and near City Hall.
The trees themselves are promoting this spring's TreePhilly yard tree giveaway with smitten missives geared at wooing Philadelphians to plant more trees.
This spring marks the fifth yard tree giveaway by TreePhilly, a program run by the Department of Parks and Recreation in partnership with Fairmount Park Conservancy and Wells Fargo. Registration is open now for anyone who wants to plant a free yard tree or two this spring. Trees will be available for pickup in April at one of six events in April throughout the city. Organizations can also apply for 10 trees planned for locations with a community function.
This spring TreePhilly is giving away 11 kinds of yard trees, including red maples, hawthorns, white oaks, American beech, sassafras, crabapple and serviceberry. If fruit trees call your name, you’re in luck: Moorpark Apricot, Brown Turkey fig, 20th Century Asian pear, and Contender Peach trees are also among the choices.
To get your free tree, register online or come to one of the giveaway events in April. To be eligible you need to live within the city limits, promise to plant your tree in a front/rear/side yard within 15 days of your pickup, and agree to water the tree with 20 gallons weekly from March to December for two years. Simple enough.
At the six tree giveaways, staff from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society will be on hand to help you select the right tree, demonstrate proper planting methods and answer all of your tree-planting questions.
Ashley Hahn is an independent writer with a background in historic preservation and city planning. She started Eyes on the Street for PlanPhilly in 2011 and was PlanPhilly's managing editor from 2015-2017. Ashley has lived in 12 zip codes that she can think of, including neighborhoods in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and New York. She is a Philadelphian by choice.