creating canopy staff

Creating Canopy

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. For the 2022 Creating Canopy tree giveaway, trees are only available to homeowners who live in the City of Philadelphia. Limit one tree per household. TreePhilly’s mission is to grow Philadelphia’s tree canopy, and for this reason, registration is limited 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.

To date, we have given away 2,442 trees.


Penn Creating Canopy 2022 Trees

On May 5th, 2022 we gave away the following types of trees. Please download the PDF below for descriptions and details on each tree.

  • American Persimmon
  • Arkansas Black Apple
  • Black Gum
  • Cherokee Brave Dogwood
  • Chicago Hardy Fig
  • Liberty Apple
  • Moonglow Magnolia
  • Rising Sun Redbud
  • Sassafras
  • Swamp White Oak


Registration is now closed. Please check back in the Spring of 2023 for the next tree giveaway.

Photo Album

View photos from past events 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!

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. 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.

Directions to Penn Park Parking Lot

Penn Park Parking Lot
3100 Lower Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104 *

Penn Park Parking Lot

Travel East on Chestnut Street to the intersection of Chestnut and S. 31st Street. Turn right on to South 31St Street. Drive to the end of South 31st Street and bear left into the Penn Park Parking lot. The Creating Canopy Tree Giveaway is located on the far east side of the parking lot.

*Many GPS systems to do not recognize "Lower Walnut Street" so please familiarize yourself with our campus map.

Planting & Caring for Your Tree