Plant One Tree on Us

The urban tree canopy (UTC) is the layer of tree leaves and branches seen from above. The benefits of individual trees and overall higher UTC range from energy conservation and increased home values to cleaner air and water. Because City Council set a goal of 45% tree canopy coverage and residential land showed the highest potential for increasing UTC, the City has been working on ways to increase private tree plantings. That brings us to the new Plant One Tree on Us program, or as we like to call it, POTOU. Below you'll find all the information you need to reserve a native tree planted for you. 

An overview of the process is: choose a tree, complete the online reservation form, sign and return the homeowner agreement, put the marking flag where you want the tree, and provide safe access to the yard for the contractor. To help guide your choice of tree and to reserve it, continue reading.

Choosing Your New Tree

While deciding on a tree, remember the Right Tree Right Place process. The idea here is to consider certain characteristics of your preferred tree at maturity (e.g., roots, height, canopy spread, etc.) and the location where you want it planted. The goal is to minimize the potential for conflicts between the tree or its roots and adjacent structures such as driveways, underground infrastructure and power lines. 

The City has created a tree selection chart, and the Arbor Day Foundation and BGE have information on their websites to help guide you through these considerations. 

When you have chosen the species you want, all you need to do is reserve the tree. After the application is processed, a homeowner agreement/waiver will emailed to you. You will have two weeks to sign and return it. If you are not able to print it, a hard copy can be mailed. 

The week before the tree is expected to be planted, staff will leave a small orange marking flag near your front door. It will need to be placed in the ground where you want the tree. Please Note: once the tree is planted, the contractor will not move it. Please ensure the flag is in the ground and at the proper location. If the contractor does not see the flag, the tree will not be planted. 

This program is first come, first served and will close when all 100 trees have been claimed or at 5 p.m. on Thursday, December 31, 2020. 


Feel free to call (301-809-3043) or email Tiffany Wright with any questions or if you are unable to complete the online form.