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Adopt-A-Tree Program


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.


Yaupon Holly
Ilex vomitoria

Yaupon Holly is a small tree or large shrub that takes well to pruning and can be trained to be a hedge, tree, or even a topiary or espalier plant to add a statement to your landscape. Yaupon Holly is approved for planting near overhead electric lines and can tolerate full sun to partial shade and a variety of soil types.

Betula nigra

River Birch, Betula nigra, is 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 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.

Nuttall Oak
Quercus nuttallii

Nuttall Oak, Quercus nuttallii, is a large shade tree that is tolerant of a wide variety of soils, even poorly drained, wet types; however, it does appreciate full sun. Boasting a beautiful red color reminiscent of fall, Nuttall Oak is native to most southern states but ends its native range just north of Tallahassee. Due to the plenty of headroom beneath its branches, Nuttall Oak is an excellent landscape shade tree becoming more common in urban and suburban area landscapes.

Yaupon Holly 15-25' 15-20' Red berries presist through winter, attractive to wildlife, can be pruned into hedge
River Birch 40-50' 25-35' Very ornamental bark peels in layers of pink, cream, and brown
Nuttall Oak 60-80' 35-50' Large shade tree with slightly narrow crown is great for spaces where a wide spreading tree wouldn't fit, attractive to wildlife


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.