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Adopt-A-Tree Program

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Leon County is proud to offer the Adopt A Tree Program. If you live inside Leon County, but outside of Tallahassee city limits, you may qualify to have a tree planted on your property for free.

If you agree to water the tree three times a week for one year, Leon County Public Works will plant the tree anywhere between your house and any publicly-maintained road or any privately maintained road with public access.

Right Tree Right Place

Matching the right tree to the right place is the best way to ensure the health and longevity of our trees. A tree that has its needs met is better able to withstand the pressures of insects, disease, or other stress factors. Choosing the right tree for the right place ensures vibrant health, reduces maintenance, and maximum benefits. Take note of site factors such as sun/shade, soil type, and drainage, and find a tree species that fits those characteristics. Equally important is considering the mature size of the tree compared to the space constraints of the location, including overhead utility wires, nearby structures and hardscapes, and other plants.

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Black Tupelo- a medium sized shade tree 30-50 feet in height. Black Tupelo has a spectacular red fall color that is sure to catch your eye in the fall. Small, non-descript flowers are an excellent nectar source for pollinators, and small blue fruits are very attractive to songbirds and other wildlife. Black Tupelo is a versatile native tree that can tolerate sun to partial shade and is a very valuable, wind resistant tree.

River Birch- a medium sized tree that typically grows to 40-50’ in height with either single or multiple trunks. The River Birch is known for its attractive pinkish brown bark which peels off in papery, film like curls, and its small, papery, and nondescript fruit and flowers, making this plant a unique addition to your landscape. River Birch is tolerant of full sun and partial shade and a wide variety of soil types, including areas that stay wet for a short period of time.

Oakleaf Hydrangea- a large shrub that is tolerant of a wide variety of soils, and full sun to partial shade. Gorgeous, large snowy white blooms will grace this plant through the summer. If pruning is needed, prune immediately after bloom to ensure that the plant blooms again the following year. When not blooming, very large oak-like dark green leaves are an interesting addition to your landscape.

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Tree Care

The best way to give your tree a good start is to water it regularly.

For the first two weeks after transplanting, provide 3 gallons of water daily. Afterwards, water two to three times each week for the duration of the growing season. More may be required during periods of drought. As the tree grows, apply 2 to 3 gallons of water per inch of trunk diameter over the root ball. The soil should be moist but not waterlogged.

Maintain a layer of mulch around your tree at least 3’ in width. This reduces competition from turf roots and weeds, and protects your tree from damage by lawn mowers and trimmers. The mulch should be 2-3” in depth and 4” away from the trunk of the tree. You can make the mulch ring wider as the tree grows.

Do not use lawn/weed chemicals or herbicides around the tree. Fertilization is not required. Pruning is not recommended in the first three years, except in the case of broken, dead or diseased branches.

If you are having issues with the form above, please call Judith McMurtry at (850) 606-1400.