Image
Navigation

Yard Trees

Yard trees are trees planted on private property.

Each spring (April to May) and fall (October to November), TreePhilly works with community groups across Philadelphia to distribute free yard trees through our Community Yard Tree Giveaway Program. Yard trees provided through this program must be planted in the ground on private property in Philadelphia. Yard trees may not be planted in a container or in the sidewalk or public right-of-way.

If you are looking to plant a tree in the sidewalk or right-of-way, learn about
getting a street tree.



How to get a yard tree
There are three ways to get a yard tree for your private property. You can use all three to make your neighborhood greener! The best way to get yard trees is to host a community yard tree giveaway with TreePhilly. By hosting a giveaway, your community group can give back to all residents of Philadelphia, by distributing trees to your neighborhood that will benefits generations to come.

1

Get a free tree from a TreePhilly Community Yard Tree Giveaway

Philadelphia residents can get a free yard tree from a Community Yard Tree Giveaway in their neighborhood. Look for a giveaway in your neighborhood in spring (April to May) and fall (October to November). Yard trees from TreePhilly must be planted in the ground, on private property, and in the city of Philadelphia. Find out how to get a yard tree in seven steps below:

Get a Free Yard Tree
In Seven Steps

2

Host a TreePhilly Community Yard Tree Giveaway

The best way to get free yard trees is to work with your local community group and apply to host a giveaway with TreePhilly. Partner groups receive free yard trees, staff support, and a small grant from TreePhilly. Grant applications are accepted each January and August for the following seasons: Spring and Fall, respectively. Find out how to apply below:

Host a Community
Yard Tree Giveaway

3

Purchase a yard tree to plant on private property

Philadelphia residents are welcome to purchase yard trees to plant on their private property. The best time to plant trees is fall (October to early December) and spring (late March to early May). Fall is the best choice of these options. Do not plant trees in the summer. High heat is dangerous for newly planted trees. Learn how to plant and care for trees below:

Learn how to plant
your tree


WHEN, WHERE, AND WHAT ARE THE GIVEAWAY EVENTS?
Each spring (April and May) and fall (October and November), TreePhilly works with community groups across the city to host yard tree giveaway events. Check back on this page to find an updated list of our community partners: giveaway info for spring events goes up each March, and info for fall events each August. Look at that list and reach out the community partner in your neighborhood or nearby to register for a tree. Registration for trees is organized by community partners. Registration opens approximately one month to two weeks prior to the giveaway event, though exact timing is up to the partner. Once you have registered for a tree, you can pick it up at the community giveaway event. Community partners also generally accept walk-ins at the end of each event to pick up left-over trees, though we strongly encourage registration. TreePhilly staff will be on hand at the event to give tips on how to plant and care for your new tree. Registration and tree walk-ins continue only while supplies last.


WHAT CAN I DO IF I HAVE LIMITED MOBILITY AND WANT A TREE?
TreePhilly provides free yard tree delivery and planting for Philadelphia residents with limited mobility. If you would like to utilize this service, you must fill out this application and provide either a doctor’s note or a SEPTA CCT Connect number. We invite all people with limited mobility to apply regardless of age, background, or neighborhood in the city.

Do not register with a Community Partner if you apply for free delivery and planting assistance. We will notify you if your application is approved. Our grower will work with you to select an appropriate species and schedule a delivery date. If you have any questions or want a paper application in the mail, call us at (215) 683-0217.



What kind of trees are available?
We offer about 10 different species each season, including large shade trees, fruit trees, and flowering trees. Follow our social media or connect with your local Community Partner to find out which trees are available. Upon pick-up, trees will be in 5 gallon buckets and will be from 2 feet to 10 feet tall. Trees will fit in a car, truck, grocery cart, or even on your bike! Smaller trees can even be taken on the bus, train, or trolley!

See information on how to get your tree home safely (PDF).



What species should I pick?
When choosing a species, consider the available space in your yard for roots and branches as well as how much sun your yard gets each day. Consider the maintenance needs of each species; some grow well with little maintenance, while others (particularly fruit trees) require advanced pruning and care to thrive.


Where should I plant my tree on my property?
For advice on where in your yard to plant your tree, check out Right Tree, Right Place from the Arbor Day Foundation. You can also call the TreePhilly office for helpful advice on where your tree will thrive.



What if I don’t have a yard?
If you do not have yard, you can still get a street tree.

Second, you may be able to make a yard! If your yard is paved or concrete and you have nowhere to plant a tree, apply for the Philadelphia Water Department’s Rain Check program. This cost-sharing program helps Philadelphia property owners to make stormwater management improvements to their properties. This includes concrete removal and porous paver installation!



Planting & Care
We offer tree planting and care demonstrations at each giveaway event. We will also send you home with a free bag of mulch from the Fairmount Park Organic Recycling Center and educational materials that will help you properly plant and care for your tree. You can get a head start by checking out the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s great Tree Tenders Video Library here.

For more information, check out the planting and care information on our website, or download and print our detailed Yard Tree Planting and Care guide.