The Dallas Branch Out program kicked off in November. Photos courtesy of the city of Dallas Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability.
Dec. 19, 2018
Dallasites, there’s still time to get a tree. Not for the holidays but to provide shade and other health benefits for decades to come.
The city of Dallas Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability introduced a new program in November called Branch Out Dallas. The program offers residents a tree at no cost.
Residents can still sign up until Jan. 11.
“We are extremely excited to offer this program which is focused on trees and the benefits they provide to homes. Trees reduce air pollution, cool the air and positively slow climate change,” said James McGuire, director of the Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability.
The Branch Out Dallas pilot program was introduced in the Kiestwood area, and the first 100 trees were given away in October at Kiestwood Assembly of God.
Murray Myers, sustainability manager, Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability, says that five different tree types – shumard oak, chinquapin, cedar elm, lace bark elm and Texas redbud – potted in five-gallon plastic pots are available.
To date, about 2,300 residents are signed up for trees, and there are 3,000 trees available.
The Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability, in collaboration with the Water Department, has talked about the tree giveaway program for about a year. Its main purpose is to address urban heat islands in the city, which are caused by hot paved surfaces and lack of green space.
Myers says without proactive programs like this one, the urban heat island will become worse and will affect Dallas’ climate.
“Plans are to continue giving away free trees,” explains Myers. “This year is our pilot program. Residents can still sign up for trees and pick them up March 9. After the program concludes, we’ll determine how we can make improvements for a relaunch of Branch Out Dallas in the fall.”
Because of the program’s popularity, trees are going fast.
“We would really like to reach all neighborhoods in the city of Dallas,” Myers says.
Dallas Branch Out
About: Tree giveaway program offered by Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability for Dallas residents.
Deadline: Jan. 11. Trees can be picked up in March. The program will resume in fall 2019.
Sign up for Dallas Branch Out here.