Plant One Tree on Us

UPDATE: As of November 14, 2023, this program is filled. Requests can still be submitted using the online form but will be on hold until the next planting season (late February/early March 2024).  Thanks to all of our participants! 

Previous recipients of a tree through this program are not currently eligible. Feel free to email the Watershed Manager 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.

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 (PDF), and residential land has the highest potential for increasing UTC, the City developed the Plant One Tree on Us program, or as we like to call it, POTOU. Through this program, eligible residents receive a native tree of their choosing planted in their yard at no cost. 

How the Program Works

  1. Read the information below
  2. Click here to complete the online reservation form
  3. Contact Miss Utility (if you haven't already)
  4. Choose a location
  5. Sign and return the homeowner agreement
  6. Receive your flag and place it exactly where you'd like your tree planted
  7. Wait for the contractor to come plant your new 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 (PDF) with the basics about the trees available through this program. The Arbor Day Foundation and BGE have more detailed information on their websites about the individual species and considerations for overhead powerlines. 

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that is not answered below, feel free to call (301-809-3043) or email Tiffany Wright with any questions. 

The size of the tree depends on the species. Ornamental species like the dogwood and redbud will be smaller than the canopy/hardwood trees. Ornamental trees should measure at least four feet tall and 0.75 across at the base. Hardwood trees like oaks, red maple, and  The tree will be a minimum of 1" across at breast height (about 4' off the ground). Depending on the species, the height of the tree would be somewhere in the four to eight foot range.