Northeast Times

Parks and Recreation Department to distribute free trees

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The city will give out free trees in April. You can get one eas­ily; all you have to do is ask and make a com­mit­ment to take care of it.

At the Jan. 26 meet­ing of North­east EPIC Stake­hold­ers, Erica Smith Fich­man of the Parks and Re­cre­ation De­part­ment an­nounced the city’s in­ten­tion to get 15,000 trees planted this year.

The trees, which will grow to vari­ous sizes, will be dis­trib­uted from a site yet to be de­term­ined on Wed­nes­day, April 25, from 4 to 7 p.m., and on Sat­urday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The trees are for front, back and side yards, she told the Frank­ford res­id­ents gathered at the Stake­hold­ers ses­sion at Aria Health’s Frank­ford cam­pus.

Get­ting them planted will bol­ster the city’s “urb­an forests,” she said. That will in­crease shade and de­crease flood­ing. Trees soak up rain.

Each house­hold can get only one tree, but an­oth­er can be ob­tained when the city gives out trees again in the fall. The giveaways will be in con­tain­ers and be about 5 feet tall when dis­trib­uted, she said.

Frank­ford is a neigh­bor­hood with a lot of very old and beau­ti­ful trees, but not every prop­erty has room for trees. Even a small tree needs about 10 feet by 10 feet for grow­ing space. Lar­ger trees might need three times as much space.

Res­id­ents can sign up for a tree by March 31. Go to tree­p­hilly.org for an ap­plic­a­tion or call 215-683-0217.

“Every­one will get a tree,” Fich­man said.

Res­id­ents must pledge they are Phil­adelphia prop­erty own­ers and that they’ll plant their trees with­in 15 days on their own land. They also must agree to wa­ter and pro­tect their trees. When res­id­ents pick up their trees, Fich­man said, they re­ceive in­struc­tions on how to plant and care for them. It’s first-come-first-served, she said, so get re­quests in soon. ••

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You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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