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Adopt-A-Tree Program


Leon County is proud to offer the 2022 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.

Since 2007, through the Adopt-a-Tree Program, Leon County has planted 4,107 trees in nearly 250 neighborhoods. Residents will have the option to have a tree delivered to their residence for planting at their own convenience. Of course, those who need assistance or would like staff to assist with planting their tree can still request the free planting service. This change creates an opportunity for a fun and educational family project, and instructions for tree planting and tree care will be provided when the tree is delivered. 

If you agree to water the tree three times a week for one year, Leon County will plant the tree anywhere between your house and any publicly maintained road or any privately maintained road with public access. Learn more about tree care and find other tree resources here.

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.



American Linden flowers, Paul Wray, Iowa State University,









American Linden, Tilia americana, or Basswood as it is sometimes called, is a large sized shade tree that typically grows 40-50 feet in height but can get much taller. If the lower branches are allowed, they will gently drape toward the ground before sweeping up in a gentle curve. It is more shade tolerant than many other large trees and does well in full sun or partial shade. It is often found growing along moist stream banks but can tolerate some drought. Basswood flowers around June and has extremely fragrant cream-colored blooms that are very attractive to pollinators. A delicious honey can be made from the nectar of the flowers. A small, dry fruit is produced that goes mostly unnoticed and is not messy.


Red Maple, T. Davis Sydnor, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.or


Red Maple, Acer rubrum, is a medium to large sized tree that typically grows to 40-50’ in height but can get as tall as 75 feet in wetter conditions. Red Maple is a fast-growing tree that produces the well known “helicopter” type seed that is attractive to small mammals and birds. This tree likes moist soils and is a great addition to a landscape that has a low area where grass may be difficult to grow. This tree is known for its outstanding bright to deep red fall color that can also shade to oranges and yellows.



Witch Hazel flowers, John Ruter, University of Georgia,


Witch Hazel, Hamamelis virginiana, is a large shrub that grows best in light sun or partial shade. It is a slow growing plant that gets 20-30’ tall and develops interesting form as it ages. Witch Hazel is unique in that is it a fall/winter flowering plant, and produces a fascinating, spindly yellow flower. This plant is a beautiful addition to a landscape that adds interest at a time of year when most plants are near dormant.


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.

Individuals living within the Tallahassee city limits are encouraged to take advantage of the City of Tallahassee’s Adopt-a-Tree program by visiting

The sign-up for the Adopt-a-Tree program has ended.  Please fill out the form below to be notified of the next sign-up.


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