Community Canopy Tree Program

Venues Parks & Arts is excited to share in the mission to make it simpler to give back to our environment. We are dedicated to making it easier on individuals to give back to the environment, create a healthier city, protect the existing ecology and continue to grow our urban tree canopy – all by planting a single tree!

We are thrilled to offer our residents the opportunity to have a FREE tree planted on your tree lawn through this new initiative! Want to know how it will it work? You can read below to find out more.

Why should I plant a tree?
Residential trees lower residential energy costs, prevent storm water runoff, increase air quality by offsetting carbon levels and produce oxygen. Studies have also shown that a close relationship to nature also has positive physical and mental benefits.
Where can I plant a tree on my property?
The program only allows trees to be planted on city public right-of-way between the curb and sidewalk (tree lawn). The tree may be up to 10 feet from the curb if no sidewalk exists.

Who plants and who maintains the tree?

Each request will have a site visit by the Urban Forester to ensure there are no conflicts with the surrounding infrastructures, proper utility locates, and that the site is suitable for a tree to thrive.

If the site is found to be appropriate, it will be added to our planting list and planted during our two planting seasons: Spring (March 1 – May 31) and Fall (October 1 – December 31). Property owners will need to commit to watering their newly planted tree during the first two years by providing about 20 gals of water per week if we don’t receive 1” precipitation in that week. The City of South Bend is not responsible for the tree after it is planted.

What kind of tree will I get?
Property owners may also make a tree species suggestion from the list here and suggest planting location. Attach a picture with a stake showing the location where you would like the tree planted.  The Urban Forester will make the final species determination and planting location, keeping in mind our primary objective is to select a tree and proper planting location that will allow the tree to grow and provide the most significant benefits to our neighborhoods.

All trees are approximately 2” in caliper and 8-10 feet tall.

All requests are handled on a first-come, first-served basis.

I’m interested! How do I sign up? Fill out the below online application and our Forester will be in contact with you within 2 business days.

Please note: Trees are on a first-come, first-served basis, and all trees for 2024 have already been spoken for. However, you can still fill out the form below to plant a tree in 2025. Tree lawns must also be at least 5′ to be eligible. The City will not be able to remove a tree on your tree lawn in order to plant a new one.

Free Street Tree Application


The VPA Forestry Teams’ mission is to continue to promote Ecological Stewardship as we create equitable experiences for our residents and guests every year. Additional questions about the program? Please contact our Forester at 574-299-4766.