How to get a free tree in Philly for your yard this fall

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Many city groups have given away free TreePhilly yard trees to residents. A new round of tree giveaways started this fall.

Philadelphians looking to add some green and shade to their yards are in luck – the city's tree giveaway program is back in swing this fall.

TreePhilly, a joint Parks and Recreation Department and Fairmount Park Conservancy Program, is partnering with other organizations to hold tree giveaways around Philadelphia this fall.

Property owners pick up one or two trees each, along with free mulch and planting and care instructions, at designated locations.

This weekend, the program comes to South Philadelphia. Trees are still available for pickup Saturday at the East Passyunk Community Recreation Center at 1025 Mifflin St. from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

People can reserve their trees online, though walk-ins are also accepted while supplies last.

Other tree giveaway locations this fall are at the Whitman TD Bank (2653 S. 5th St.) on Oct. 29; Roxborough TD Bank (5501 Ridge Ave.) on Oct. 30; and Aramingo TD Bank (2267 E. Butler St.) on Nov. 5.

Homeowners intersted in getting trees should register soon, as many varieties are already sold out at each location. All trees at another giveaway, set for Oct. 15 at the TD Bank at 6304 Roosevelt Blvd., have already been claimed.

Yard tree varieties being given away this fall include willow oak, hackberry, bald cypress, yellowwood, pagoda dogwood, American smoketree, red buckeye, sourwood, Asian pear, fig, nectarine and paw paw.

The program says fall is a good time to plant trees because the following months of cool weather give young trees time to spread out and establish roots before  summer's heat.

To date, TreePhilly has provided more than 15,000 free trees, according to the program's website.

The initiative began in 2012. Since then, the program has sought to add greenery to barren neighborhoods, though it has sometimes had a hard time convincing residents to plant trees.

"A lot of people, my family included, are tree skeptics," Kathryn Ott Lovell, Philly's parks and recreation commissioner, said earlier this year. "They think that trees cause more problems than the value they add."

For those concerned about putting a problematic tree in their yard, she said: "We have arborists who identify the right tree to be put in your yard, trees that don't grow too high or too deep."

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