Plant One Tree on Us
UPDATE: As of November 14, 2023, this program is filled. Requests can still be submitted using the online form but will be on hold until the next planting season (late February/early March 2024). Thanks to all of our participants!
Previous recipients of a tree through this program are not currently eligible. Feel free to email the Watershed Manager with a request. If there are extra trees available after everyone has gotten their first ones, you will be able to get a second tree.
The urban tree canopy (UTC) is the layer of tree leaves and branches seen from above. The benefits of individual trees and overall higher UTC range from energy conservation and increased home values to cleaner air and water. Because City Council set a goal of 45% tree canopy coverage (PDF), and residential land has the highest potential for increasing UTC, the City developed the Plant One Tree on Us program, or as we like to call it, POTOU. Through this program, eligible residents receive a native tree of their choosing planted in their yard at no cost.
How the Program Works
- Read the information below
- Click here to complete the online reservation form
- Contact Miss Utility (if you haven't already)
- Choose a location
- Sign and return the homeowner agreement
- Receive your flag and place it exactly where you'd like your tree planted
- Wait for the contractor to come plant your new tree
Choosing Your New Tree
While deciding on a tree, remember the Right Tree Right Place process. The idea here is to consider certain characteristics of your preferred tree at maturity (e.g., roots, height, canopy spread, etc.) and the location where you want it planted. The goal is to minimize the potential for conflicts between the tree or its roots and adjacent structures such as driveways, underground infrastructure and power lines.
The City has created a tree selection chart (PDF) with the basics about the trees available through this program. The Arbor Day Foundation and BGE have more detailed information on their websites about the individual species and considerations for overhead powerlines.
The size of the tree depends on the species. Ornamental species like the dogwood and redbud will be smaller than the canopy/hardwood trees. Ornamental trees should measure at least four feet tall and 0.75 across at the base. Hardwood trees like oaks, red maple, and The tree will be a minimum of 1" across at breast height (about 4' off the ground). Depending on the species, the height of the tree would be somewhere in the four to eight foot range.
Trees reserved in the fall will be planted between October and December. Trees requested in the spring will be planted between February and March. As long as the ground is not frozen and it is not summer, trees can be planted.
Planting in the fall provides time for the roots to get established in the soil before leaves and flowers start growing and competing for nutrients and water in the spring. It also helps to have enough time for root establishment before the hot, sunny summer temperatures start!
Yes, the tree can be planted anywhere you want it on your property (front, side, back) except within the City's right-of-way. This is the area about 12 feet from the edge of the paved road. To see if you can get a tree planted for you in the right-of-way, please email the Community Forester.
While this is technically feasible in some cases, it is not allowed under this program. POTOU is intended to increase tree canopy across the city so survivability is crucial. This is best achieved in a new location. Please choose a location at least 15 feet away from any other tree (recently removed or still in the ground).
No. This program is meant to increase tree canopy. If your tree is dead and/or a safety hazard and needs to be removed, please contact a tree removal company of your choosing. Your POTOU tree can be planted at least 15 feet away.
No, once a tree is planted, it cannot be removed or moved to a different location. Please be sure the flag that you receive is placed exactly where you'd like the tree to be planted.