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The first 2022 PP&R Yard Tree Giveaway event was at Mt Tabor Park (Photo courtesy of Portland Parks & Recreation, Portland, OR)
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 11 October 2022

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R)’s Urban Forestry department is distributing free yard trees to Portland neighbors for the sixth consecutive year. The annual Yard Tree Giveaway events continue with 2,000 free trees given out at six events this autumn. Since the first Yard Tree Giveaway event in 2017, Portland Parks & Recreation has given away more than 5,000 trees and counting. Advance registration is required.

Accessible gardening

The Yard Tree Giveaway series will help increase tree cover across the city and makes trees accessible to everyone. People living within Portland city limits are eligible for up to two free trees to plant on private property. Advance registration is required at portland.gov/free-yard-trees.  The Yard Tree Giveaway events, supported by the Parks Local Option Levy (Parks Levy) are focused and near neighborhoods with the highest temperatures and fewest trees. PP&R’s goal is to get more trees planted in the hottest areas of Portland and the Parks Levy committed to planting new trees in communities where tree canopy coverage is lower. Nearly all of these areas, known as “heat islands,” are located east of the Willamette River.

“Amid a record-breaking year for heat, the need for cool, shaded areas in Portland remains clear,” notes Portland Parks Commissioner Carmen Rubio.

“Science has shown that trees not only cool the environment, but also play a substantial role in the larger fight against climate change.”

“Planting trees is one tool among many needed to mitigate the impacts of climate change, and we are proud to again bring this free series of events back to Portland,” says PP&R Director Adena Long.

Why plant trees?

The distribution of free yard trees for neighbors is an important part of the City’s efforts to grow and maintain Portland’s tree canopy. Trees provide habitat for wildlife, shade for urban areas, and cleaner air. Portland’s urban forest is not only beautiful and functional but also provides physical, mental, emotional, and psychological benefits to neighbors. Trees everywhere also play an important role in climate change mitigation and adaptation. They also support urban climate adaptation through heat reduction and improved air quality, which have direct human health implications.

ppr yard tree giveaway mt tabor2 fullVolunteers prepare trees for residents at the PP&R Yard Tree Giveaway at Mt Tabor Park (Photo courtesy of Portland Parks & Recreation, Portland, OR)
“It is vital to plant, care for and preserve large growing trees,” notes Portland Urban Forester Jenn Cairo.

"We all have a role to play in preserving, growing, and protecting Portland’s tree canopy.”

There are 21 types of approved trees to choose from, with an emphasis on large-growing, native, and evergreen trees. These types of trees were emphasized because they are most beneficial to the environment. After registering at portland.gov/free-yard-trees, people can select the best time to pick up their trees, mulch, and watering bucket at one of the four remaining Saturday events where advance registration is required:

Remaining 2022 Yard Tree Giveaway Events

(advance registration required)

  • Saturday, October 15, 2022
    8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. (your pickup time determined upon advance registration)
    North Portland – Farragut Park
  • Saturday, October 22
    8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    Southeast Portland – The Gates Park Property
  • Saturday, November 5, 2022
    8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. (your pickup time determined upon advance registration)
    Southeast Portland – PP&R Maintenance Yard at Mt Tabor

Free delivery is available to homes in the St. Johns, Portsmouth, Sunderland, Cully, Centennial, Glenfair, and Sumner neighborhoods. Delivery and planting available for people who need accommodation.

Advance registration is required.

People can register in English and Spanish at portland.gov/free-yard-trees or call 503-823-4963
(Para ayuda en Español. llamé 503-939-0536)

Guidelines for Receiving a Tree

  • Advance registration is required.
  • Trees are for planting on private property (not in containers or as street trees).
  • Trees must be planted within the City of Portland. This can be private yards, property around apartment buildings, or neighborhood common spaces with property owner approval.
  • Limit two trees per address.
  • Trees are not to be used to fulfill planting permit requirements.

If you would like to learn more about planting and preservation programs at Urban Forestry or would like to get involved, visit portland.gov/trees.

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