Imagine a town crier standing on a street corner, proclaiming to the people of Portland: “Free trees, get ‘yer free tree-ees.” The town crier part is wishful thinking, but the free trees are real — and Portland Parks and Recreation is giving away a small forest’s worth.
For six years now, the city’s Urban Forestry department has distributed young trees to residents through the Yard Tree Giveaway. To date, the annual program has bequeathed 5,000+ trees to Portlanders, free of charge.
This year’s program — spread across six community events — will distribute 2,000 trees representing 21 species. People living within city limits are eligible for up to two trees to plant on private property. The giveaway events, which are supported by the Parks Local Option Levy, are focused near neighborhoods with the highest temperatures and fewest trees (aka “heat islands”) in the hopes of increasing tree canopy.
After registering online, people can choose the best time to pick up their trees, mulch, and watering bucket at one of the three remaining Saturday events between Oct. 15-Nov. 5.