Free Trees Help You Fight Climate Change (and Make Your Yard Even Nicer)
Photo by Hero Image

The City of Los Angeles has just appointed its first urban forester to spearhead a campaign to add 90,000 trees to the city’s landscape by 2021, in an effort to combat the effects of climate change and improve air and water quality. Fortunately, you don’t have to live in L.A. to take advantage of an offer for free trees—many municipalities and nonprofits across the West are offering them up to mitigate air pollution and the urban heat island effect

Adding greenery to urban areas isn’t just a matter of environmental importance—it’s a critical social justice concern. Even before wildfires became a perennial threat in California, the effects of air pollution have been particularly high in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color, where highways, busy streets, and polluting industries tend to be sited; as a result, black and brown children suffer significantly higher rates of asthma than their white peers. Planting trees is an easy and low-cost solution with lasting benefits, one that is being implemented more and more throughout the West.

Whether you live in a highly polluted area, want to increase your home’s value (while decreasing your cooling costs), or just want to make your yard look nice, planting trees is just a good thing to do, period. Here’s where to find trees for your street and yard, without having to spend a dime of your own money: 


free trees

Photo by Angel Lynne / Eye Em via Getty Images


free trees

Photo by thinair28 / Getty Images


free trees

Photo by Alexander Turnbough / Eye Em via Getty Images


free trees

Photo by KingWu / Getty Images


free trees

Photo by sendek / Getty Images


free trees

Photo by Denis Tengney Jr./ Getty Images


free trees

Photo by knowlesgallery / Getty Images

New Mexico

Photo by Sean Pavone / Getty Images

  • The City of Albuquerque partnered with local and national agencies to develop their ABQ NeighborWoods program, which offers a tree giveaway


Tony Shi Photography / Getty Images

If you don’t see your state here, it’s because it doesn’t currently offer any tree programs that are completely free of charge, but there’s another way! Though they aren’t technically free, you’ll get ten free trees as a thank-you gift for joining the Arbor Day Foundation (minimum joining rate is only $10).