Philly Residents Can Request A Free Native Tree Thanks To New Program Designed To Fight Climate Change

When most people think of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, picturing trees and wildlife isn’t what comes to mind. In fact, the city is largely concrete streets and sidewalks with buildings jetting up.

Outside of the city’s planned parks, you’d typically be hard-pressed to find any greenery in the sidewalks or parking lots, especially not native greenery.

Photo: Flickr/Chris Yunker License: CC BY 2.0

That might be changing thanks to the Tree Tenders program by the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society (PHS).

Philadelphia native Andrew Conboy is a self-proclaimed “urban forester” who’s showing off the new program Tree Tenders program on TikTok.

In one TikTok video, he explained that his street didn’t have any trees lining it, so he requested a native tree through the Tree Tenders program.

Photo: TikTok/@andrew_the_arborist

Amazingly, an arborist was sent by the city to assess the street and determined that a native tree could, indeed, be planted.

It took weeks, but the spot was eventually prepared and ready to be planted!

The presence of native wildlife in cities is crucial for maintaining the balance of urban ecosystems. Native species such as birds, insects, and small mammals play important roles in pollination, seed dispersal, and pest control, and they rely on native plants to survive. Plus, having native plant life can contribute to a city’s aesthetic appeal.

Photo: TikTok/@andrew_the_arborist

The Tree Tenders program is working toward the important goal to create and protect green spaces in Philly. By promoting the presence of native wildlife, we can improve the health and sustainability of urban environments for both human and non-human residents.

Check out the video below:

@andrew_the_arborist This is how we got a free street tree as residents of Philadelphia! 🌳 #trees #philly #philadelphia #tree #urbanforestry #urban #city #plants #garden #flower #fyp #nativeplants ♬ original sound – Andrew The Arborist

According to, the Tree Tenders program is part of the city’s first-ever strategic urban forest plan which has a 10-year goal to “grow, protect and care for Philadelphia’s tree canopy.” Additionally, the city is hoping to use the program to collaborate with the public to combat climate change.

Hopefully, more cities follow suit!

Protect the Planet

Help preserve vital habitat at The Rainforest Site for free!