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Attention treehuggers - act now

If you have space in your yard for a tree, you have until the end of the month to apply for a free one from TreePhilly. Get on it!

Does this happen to you? I sometimes go past a corner in Roxborough and think, something's wrong. This doesn't look right. At first I may not be able to put my finger on it, but then I realize that a big tree that used to be part of the scenery has been cut down. The scene now has too much sky, and less character than before.

As trees age, cutting them down does sometimes become necessary. And I hope the ones involved were removed for reasons of health and safety rather than commercial expediency. But either way, we need to be sure we're keeping up on the other end, planting new trees that will help beautify our neighborhoods in addition to other benefits (like, you know, oxygen).

If you have space in your yard for a tree, you have until the end of the month to apply for a free one from TreePhilly. Here's the key pitch from their press release.

With support from Wells Fargo bank, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation's TreePhilly campaign is empowering residents to beautify their homes and blocks, improve their health, reduce their energy costs, and reduce stormwater runoff all in one shot, at NO COST.

Philadelphia property owners who have space in the front or back of their property to plant and care for a new tree, should visit or call 215-683-0217 to request a FREE YARD TREE.

Here's more iformation on the TreePhilly campaign from their site:

TreePhilly is a new greening initiative led by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation that directly engages all Philadelphians in improving their communities by planting and maintaining trees and enabling others to do the same.

TreePhilly is actively creating programming, pursuing partnerships, and supporting existing tree planting activities in order to get more trees in the ground and build our City's canopy. To reach TreePhilly's goal to plant 15,000 new trees in the City in 2012, we need widespread participation from everyone.

The City's Greenplan Philadelphia calls for Philadelphia's tree canopy to increase to 30 percent in every neighborhood by 2025. To support this goal, Mayor Nutter's Greenworks Philadelphia sets a target of planting 300,000 trees by 2015. It's an ambitious goal, but a goal we can strive for and achieve only with full cooperation from all partners and residents.

Of course, you don't have to be a treehugger to see the value of trees in the city. Let's get planting.