Creating Canopy FAQs

Creating Canopy Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Who can sign up to receive a free tree?

Penn and UPHS employees who own a home in the city are eligible to participate this year.

Can I get more than one tree?

Residents can request one tree per address, to be planted on their private land.

Where can I plant my tree?

You can plant your tree on property that is privately owned by you, or private property on which you have permission to plant.  You must plant your tree in the ground; it will not survive if planted in a container or planter.  Please make sure that you plant your tree in a space that can accommodate the tree at maturity (see space and size information below). This is not a street tree; if you are interested in planting a tree on your city street, please visit TreePhilly Street Trees Registration for more information.

What kind of trees will be available?

When you come to pick up your tree, there will be several species available from which you may select. Trees in each species are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. You will not be able to choose a species in advance.

Creating Canopy 2013 Tree Information Manual

Trees available are likely to include: 

Small Trees: Eastern Redbud , Forest Pansy Redbud (purple foliage), Cherokee Princess Florida Dogwood (white flower), Japanese Kousa Dogwood (white flower), Rutgers Stellar Pink Dogwood, Sugartyme Crabapple, Snowgoose Cherry (white flower), Yoshino Cherry

Large Trees: River Birch, Tulip Poplar, Willow Oak, Swamp White Oak

For more information on the types of species that will be offered this year, please view the Tree Information Manual (PDF).


How do I sign up?

Registration in advance is required.  Register using this Online Form.

When and where can I pick up my tree?

Tree giveaway event dates are being planned for Thursday, May 16 and Tuesday, May 21, between 3-6 PM in the parking lot at Penn Park.

On your registration form, you will be asked to commit to one specific day to pick up your tree.

How do I get my tree home?

Each tree will be in a 5-7 gallon plastic pot, will weigh between 20 and 25 lbs and will stand approximately 4-6 feet tall, depending on the species.  Trees will fit easily in the back of a truck or SUV, and can even be driven home in a small car with the top sticking out the window!

Are you not sure of the right type of tree to choose for certain space in your yard?
Or wondering where best to place a tree to help your home conserve the most energy?

The Arbor Day Foundation and PHS advise you on planting the right tree in the right place:

How much care goes into planting a new tree?

Weekly watering of 20 gallons at a minimum is required for the first two growing seasons. Additionally, keep the area around the tree weed free and make sure the soil around tree is not compacted by foot or vehicular traffic. Mulching the area is also helpful, but do not over mulch. On an annual basis, apply 2-4 inches of mulch evenly around the tree, being sure to keep mulch away from the tree trunk.

If I have follow up questions for planting or caring for my tree, who do I contact:

Erica Smith Fichman, Tree Philly Manager
Philadelphia Parks & Recreation
Tel: 215.683.0217