Tree Giveaway Program

In alignment with the goals of Penn’s Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 3.0, the University promotes the importance of trees and the creation of public open spaces. To encourage the continual ‘greening’ of our communities in the Greater Philadelphia area, we will once again partner with TreePhilly, a program of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and the Fairmount Park Conservancy, for the Creating Canopy tree giveaway.

Each year, a limited number of free trees are given away on a first-come, first-served basis to interested Penn and UPHS staff and faculty who pre-register. At the 2020 Creating Canopy tree giveaway, 50% of the trees will be allotted to City of Philadelphia residents, with the other 50% of trees available to those who live outside the city. TreePhilly’s mission is to grow Philadelphia’s tree canopy, and for this reason, priority registration will be given to residents with a planting address in the City of Philadelphia. There is a pivotal need for trees in urban areas for the purposes of stormwater management, natural cooling, critical wildlife habitat, and the many other benefits that trees can provide.  In fact, recent research shows that some neighborhoods in Philadelphia can be up to 22 degrees hotter than surrounding areas, making tree planting in the urban areas more important now than it has ever been.


The 2020 Creating Canopy event has been postponed until the fall semester.

Photo Album

View photos from the event in our Flickr album.


If, for some reason, you are no longer able to pick up your tree, please email us and let us know. We have many people who would like a leafy new friend! 

Tree Selection

Download this PDF to learn about the 2019 tree selection (20 in total) -- small flowering trees, large shade trees, and self-pollinating fruit trees. Please read these descriptions to help you decide which tree is best for your yard, neighborhood, and skill level. If you are selecting a fruit tree, please note that they require different levels of skill and care: low = persimmon; moderate = fig, apple, cherry; challenging = peach.

Information about the 2020 tree species will be available in September 2020.

Picking Up Your Tree

The tree pickup takes place each year in the parking lot at Penn Park - located near the intersection of 31st Street and Lower Walnut Street. (Staff at the New Bolton Center may select a special pick up option on the registration form.)

Directions to Penn Park Parking Lot (PDF) *Many GPS systems to do not recognize "Lower Walnut Street" so please familiarize yourself with our campus map.

The responsibility is yours to get your new leafy friend home.  Bring your car, or arrange a ride. The trees come in #5 pots (3-4 feet tall) and #7 pots (4-6 feet tall). Some past tree recipients have made creative use of wagons or hand trucks to transport their trees.