Get a Street Tree

Street Tree Planting Options

Planting a tree within 50 feet of your house raises its value by about 9%."
Source: Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business

Street trees have other benefits too such as reducing your energy needs by providing shade and beautifying your block. Learn about more wonderful benefits of street trees. Concerns about roots invading pipes and foundations can be mitigated by proper planting and cutting an appropriately size tree pit.  Trees should also be selected based on your street conditions.

There are five options for acquiring a tree for your property:

  1. Fairmount Park (FREE/6 months – 2 years). This option simply requires you fill out a service request form, checking the box to request a new tree. This is free, but you will have no control or any idea of when your tree will actually be planted. Once you submit your request it’s added to a long list of similar requests, and FPC deals with these requests in the order they’re submitted.
  2. Philadelphia Horticultural Society TreeVitalize (FREE/7 months). This option requires you to fill out an application form and asks that you participate in planting your tree. (It’s optional – but you’ll learn how to take care of it and have greater appreciation for your new tree.) You can decide if you’d like your tree to be planted in early spring or late fall.  You do need to submit your form months prior to the planting day (in August for April planting) and you do not have a choice in trees. Learn about TreeVItalize and the Tree Tenders program here.
  3. Private Contractor (~$300 per tree/ASAP).If you wish to plant a tree of your own selection on your own timeframe and have the cash to spare, the quickest way is to hire your own contractor. SOSNA has obtained a list of Fairmount Park-approved contractors who do the job right, and who take care of most everything in the process – they get permission from Fairmount Park, clear the site through the state’s CallOne system (which maps underground utilities that might interfere with the planting), and plant your tree. Some contractors do not plant individual trees, preferring only to plant in larger groups. Here is a list of approved trees that will thrive in an urban setting, have a good track record, and won't interfere with overhead wires. If you plant a large species under electric wires it may get severely pruned by the utility company.
  4. SOSNA Street Tree Matching Grant Program. The SOSNA Board has authorized $5,000 for this program and it will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis to participants who meet the program eligibility and requirements. If you complete all of the required steps, the application forms, and are eligible for the program SOSNA will reimburse you the lesser of $200 or 50% of the cost of acquisition and installation of your new tree. In addition, if you do not already have a sufficient-sized pit, SOSNA will reimburse the lesser of $75 or 50% of the pit installation cost.  (At right - Two trees at 20th & Fitzwater partially funded through this program.) CURRENTLY SOSNA DOES NOT HAVE FUNDS FOR THIS PROGRAM.
  5. TreePhilly.  A program announced in February 2012 with the goal of dramatically increasing the City's tree canopy.  You can request a free tree for your yard (must be on private property) or request a street tree.   

Learn about caring for your tree here.





SOSNA Tree Planting Grant Program Terms and Conditions.pdf SOSNA Tree Planting Grant Program Terms and Conditions.pdf 103.31 KB