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Get free trees planted on your street

Beautify your streetscape and help fight climate change by requesting free trees be planted in front of your house. Then encourage your neighbors to get a tree, too.

Residents of Kansas City, MO and Merriam, KS are currently eligible to receive a free tree in the Free Tree Program, managed by the Heartland Conservation Alliance.

Residents who request trees are asked to commit to watering it regularly for the first two years while it is being established.

In Kansas City, the trees are planted along the public right-of-way, which is typically 10-15 feet from the street. In Merriam, trees are planted on private property.

The Heartland Tree Alliance handles all tree requests, determines appropriate varieties, plants the trees, and provides a watering bag to make it easier for residents. You can get more details and apply for a tree with the Heartland Tree Alliance.

Trees as a climate solution

Kansas City leaders are prioritizing city greenery as a way to help reduce the causes and effects of a warming climate.

Trees have been proven to help mitigate the effects of increased temperatures associated with climate change and capture the greenhouse gases that trap heat in the atmosphere, according to the Regional Climate Action Plan prepared by Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) and Climate Action KC. Heat islands, or areas surrounded by asphalt and buildings, can be as much as seven degrees hotter than tree shaded areas, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The climate plan states that shade trees reduce the amount of energy needed to heat or cool homes by as much as 25%.

The city of Kansas City recently expanded its Canopy Cover KC program to plant 10,000 trees in 3 years.

The city calculated that trees could provide more than $28 million savings in stormwater management, energy reduction, and air pollution control. Tree-lined streets are also credited with slowing vehicle traffic and reducing crime while increasing property values.

Additional tree programs

In separate programs, the city of Overland Park, KS will cover 50% of the cost of residential approved native tree plantings (up to $150) as a part of its Stormwater Cost Share Program. Applications for 2024 open in April.

Through the Contain the Rain program of Johnson County Stormwater Management Program, homeowners and businesses in participating Johnson County cities can get up to 50% reimbursement for native trees and other native plants and stormwater solutions.

To continue to spread awareness about the harms of the invasive Callery pear tree, Deep Roots is also giving away free native trees this spring to homeowners who remove Callery pear trees from their property as part of the Callery Pear Buyback program.

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