Philadelphia will give away 1,000 trees to city residents for planting at home this fall through its TreePhilly program — a bigger offering than its spring giveaway, which was curtailed by COVID-19 restrictions.
Registration opened online Tuesday through TreePhilly.org, while supplies last.
Residents can then pick up the trees on Oct. 17 and Nov. 21. Deliveries are reserved for residents at high risk of COVID-19 and those unable to pick up a tree in their car.
Residents who take a tree must plant it on private property in the city.
The program is a partnership with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, the Fairmount Park Conservancy, and 36 community organizations. It is sponsored by TD Bank.
The community organizations will host seven no-contact pickup events for residents of neighborhoods most in need of trees.
Others will have to get their trees during the two dates.
“Trees make our Philadelphia communities healthier, stronger, and more beautiful,” said Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell.
TreePhilly has given away more than 25,000 trees since 2012 with the goal of establishing a tree canopy in every neighborhood.
Tree pickup events and deliveries will be executed with strict adherence to social distancing to protect against the spread of COVID-19. Pickups will take place at scheduled times in limited numbers and residents will load trees into their own cars.
“The importance of trees and parks has never been more appreciated than now,” said Michael Carbone, regional president, TD Bank.
A study released in June by a U.S. Forest Service researcher suggests that Philadelphia’s tree canopy program could prevent hundreds of premature deaths citywide, particularly in its poorest neighborhoods.
The city’s goal, under its Greenworks program, is to boost tree-canopy cover to 30% in each neighborhood by 2025.