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The original item was published from 9/4/2020 12:06:40 PM to 12/5/2020 12:00:04 AM.

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Posted on: September 4, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Arbor Day Foundation, Texas A&M Forest Service, City to Provide Free Trees to San Marcos Residents

Photo of trees in planters

The City of San Marcos Community Forestry Program is providing 500 free trees to homeowners through a partnership with the Texas A&M Forest Service, the USDA Forest Service and the Arbor Day Foundation’s Community Canopy program, a program that helps clean the air and water, reduce stormwater runoff, sequester carbon and lower energy usage through strategic tree planting.

The Community Canopy program encourages homeowners to plant trees in their yards to help broaden the city’s tree canopy and provide cleaner water to residents.

According to the World Health Organization, half of the world’s population will be affected by 2025 if communities don’t take the necessary steps to plant and maintain community forests. Trees reduce the amount of sediment, pollutants and organic matter that drain into streams, improving local water quality. Natural tree cover is lost as cities and towns continue to grow, which can result in an increase in flooding and deteriorating drinking water supply.  

“Ideally, San Marcos would have around 30-40% tree canopy coverage but we are currently lingering around 16%,” said Kelly Eby, Urban Forester. “We are thrilled about this opportunity to plant 500 free trees at residences and in urbanized environments so our community can reap the environmental and social benefits that trees provide.”

Beginning on September 14, residents may reserve their free trees at Recipients may reserve up to two trees and are expected to care for and plant them in the location provided by the online tool. The types of trees offered include the following:

Large maturing shade trees: Live oak, Shumard oak, fall (cedar) elm, Mexican sycamore

Medium shade trees: Desert Willow, Mexican white oak, Chinkapin oak,

Based on 364,261 trees that have been distributed through the Community Canopy program thus far, on average, one tree will filter 18,120 gallons of stormwater runoff—or 144,960 16-ounce water bottles—over the first 20 years of its life.

For additional information, Contact Eby at For media inquiries, contact

About the Arbor Day Foundation

Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters and valued partners. Since 1972, more than 300 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world. Our vision is to help others understand and use trees as a solution to many of the global issues we face today, including air quality, water quality, climate change, deforestation, poverty and hunger.

As one of the world’s largest operating conservation foundations, the Arbor Day Foundation, through its members, partners and programs, educates and engages stakeholders and communities across the globe to involve themselves in its mission of planting, nurturing and celebrating trees. More information is available at


About Texas A&M Forest Service:
Texas A&M Forest Service conserves and protects the resources and lands of the Lone Star State. Conserving Texas’ trees and forests, the state agency helps property owners maintain land and natural resources to ensure forestlands remain productive and healthy not only for the environment, but for generations of Texans to come.




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