Creating Canopy

Tree Giveaway Program

The University of Pennsylvania is a leader in promoting environmental sustainability, including the importance of trees, sustainable building development, and the creation of public open space. These initiatives and other greening efforts are outlined in the University's Climate Action Plan, signed and supported by Penn's President, Dr. Amy Gutmann, as part of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment.

canopy -n. The canopy is the upper level of branches and foliage formed by the crown of mature trees. Measuring the area of land covered by tree canopy is an important yardstick for a healthy environment, since trees improve air and water quality and help reduce erosion, water pollution, and flooding.

We are spreading roots for a greener region!  This spring, Penn is partnering with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and the PA Horticultural Society for the  Creating Canopy tree giveaway.   A limited number of free trees will be given away on a first-come, first-served basis to interested Penn and UPHS staff and faculty who pre-register.  You are eligible for a tree if you live in the City of Philadelphia or in the suburbs in PA, Delaware and New Jersey.

Planned tree plantings on Penn's campus from 2008 through 2015 are estimated at more than 1,700. The University wants to engage the staff and faculty in this greening effort, enabling them to plant trees in their own yards. Our sponsorship of this program will make a great impact on our campus, the city, and the region in expanding our environmental outreach and working towards our sustainability goals.


Registration for 2015 Creating Canopy is closed.

Thanks to your enthusiasm for the Creating Canopy with Penn program, we are completely "sold out" of trees for the Spring 2015 event! However, we will be giving away any unclaimed trees at the end of the event, so walk-ins will be accepted on a first come, first served basis on Thursday, May 7th between 6-6:30 PM.

Learn more about the tree species available on the Tree Information PDF, and decide which is best for your property in the city or the suburbs.

Trees can be picked up on May 5 and May 7 between 3 and 6 PM in the parking lot at Penn Park -- located near the intersection of 31st Street and Lower Walnut Street. View our flyer for directions.


The University plans to engage the staff and faculty of Penn and UPHS in a greening effort, enabling them to plant trees in their own yards. This section includes a list of frequently asked questions relating to the Creating Canopy tree giveaway initiative.

The Creating Canopy tree giveaway was very successful for the past two years. Read what some of the participants had to say about the program.

View these University photo albums for a look back at our past tree giveaway events.