Trees offer many benefits to landowners. Planting trees around a home can increase the home's value by up to 15 percent, according to the Arbor Day Foundation. By shading windows and walls, trees act as natural air conditioners and can reduce cooling costs by up to 50 percent. Rows of trees serve as windbreaks, which help slow erosion and soil degradation, reduce evaporation, increase soil moisture and act as sound barriers. And, of course, trees add aesthetic value. Several organizations offer free trees to Texas landowners.
Residents of Austin, Texas, are eligible for free trees through the Tree Folks organization. Tree Folks' mission is to "grow the urban forest of central Texas through tree planting, education and community partnerships," according to the organization's website. Tree Folks operates several tree giving programs. CommuniTrees provides free trees through grants to schools, churches, public housing communities and green spaces. Each October, Tree Folks distributes more than 2,500 saplings on a first-come, first-served basis during Sapling Days, held each week at various venues throughout the city. The NeighborWoods Program distributes more than 4,000 trees each year. Tree Folks staff canvass the city for optimal tree-growing spaces, and then plant a flag and leave an order form. Landowners can then order a free tree to plant in the chosen space.
Fort Worth Forestry Section
The City of Fort Worth's Forestry Section offers two free tree programs. To participate in the Neighborhood Tree Planting Program, neighborhood groups must sign up between 25 and 75 residents. The Forestry Section then provides up to two 5-gallon trees per resident. The program is available between October and March of each year and sometimes extends into May. Fort Worth's Tree Grant program offers competitive grants for balled, burlapped and container-grown trees. Trees are grown on a local farm and include species such as red oak, cedar elm, bald cypress and desert willow. Applicants must agree to plant the trees within 24 hours of receipt, care for the trees for at least two years and locate all utility lines before accepting trees. Preference is given to applications from neighborhood groups and to projects that involve drip emitter or tree bubbler irrigation systems rather than projects that depend on hand watering.
Keep Denton Beautiful
Keep Denton Beautiful, a nonprofit orgniazation, gives away free trees on National Make a Difference Day, which is held on the fourth Saturday in October. Residents of Denton, Texas, are eligible. Proof of residency is required. Keep Denton Beautiful requires applicants to preregister for trees online before the event. Available trees include species such as Mexican plum, burr oak, lacebark elm, Chinese Pistache and Texas redbud.