Plant One Tree on Us

As of April 7, 2023, the program is closed for the summer.  Check back here in September when we expect the program to reopen for the fall planting season. 

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 has 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. 

How the Program Works

An overview of the process is: 

  1. Read the information below
  2. Complete an online reservation form
  3. Contact Miss Utility (if you haven't already)
  4. Choose a location
  5. Sign and return the homeowner agreement
  6. Wait for the contractor to come plant your new tree!

*Previous recipients of a tree through this program are not currently eligible. Feel free to email Tiffany with a request. If there are extra trees available after everyone has gotten their first ones, you will be able to get a second tree.

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 with the basics about trees available through POTOU, and the Arbor Day Foundation and BGE have information on their websites with more information about the individual species and considerations for overhead powerlines. 

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 be emailed to you. If you are not able to print it, a hard copy can be mailed. Please make a note in the comment section of the reservation form indicating if you will need a hard copy mailed to you. If you do not have email or internet access and don't have a friend or family member who can help, please call 301-809-3043. 

The week before the tree is 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 at the proper location. If the contractor does not see the flag, the tree will not be planted. 

Frequently Asked Questions

A number of questions about this process have come up since this program began. If you have a question that is not answered here, feel free to call (301-809-3043) or email Tiffany Wright.

  1. How big is the tree?

The tree will be a minimum of 1.5 inch caliper (the diameter measured about a foot above ground). Depending on the species, the height of the tree would be somewhere in the four to eight foot range.

  1. Can the tree be planted where another tree was?
  1. Can the tree be planted in my backyard?
  1. When will THE tree be planted?
  1. Will the contractor cut down AN EXISTING tree?