Thinking about requesting a street tree? The deadline to apply is March 23.

Planting trees in a neighborhood increases property values; brings beauty and character to neighborhoods; saves energy and cuts heating and air-conditioning costs; shades and cools neighborhoods on hot summer days; cleans pollutants out of the air and water; reduces storm water runoff; buffers and reduces noise; and provides habitat for birds and wildlife.

Each year, Tree Pittsburgh and the Western PA Conservancy team up to plant street trees in neighborhoods all over Pittsburgh.  Polish Hill has received dozens of trees in the last few years, many requested by property owners.  Read more at the TreeVitalize Pittsburgh Planting program here.

You can only apply for a planting on property that you own, and trees are available only for public areas, such as sidewalks, not private yards.  There are also some factors that limit where a tree can go; a very narrow sidewalk or the presence of utilities under the sidewalk, may make a site unsuitable.  But the smaller varieties of tree that Tree Pittsburgh is using means that it’s possible to plant in many spots where power lines or other factors might have been an issue.

If you think your street view would benefit from some more trees, consider filling out an application to request a tree planting.  After a site visit to determine if there’s space and appropriate conditions, Tree Pittsburgh will let you know if you can get a tree during the Fall 2012 planting.

Applications are available online or at the PHCA office.  Applications must be received by Tree Pittsburgh by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, March 23.

(Above:  Polish Hill volunteers plant a tree at Melwood and Finland streets, 2008.  Photo by Leslie Clague for the PHCA.)