Charlottesville Utilities offering free trees to city residents
This partnership provides 200 free trees to Utilities customers within the City of Charlottesville, encouraging them to conserve energy and reduce energy bills through strategic tree planting.
The strategic planting of trees provides a variety of benefits for individual households, as well as the broader community. Properly planted trees can reduce the amount of energy a home requires to remain comfortable by providing a barrier to cold winter winds and delivering shade in the summer. When planted properly, a single tree that grows over time can save a homeowner up to 20 percent on energy costs.
Trees also provide a number of benefits for the entire community, such as increasing capacity for carbon sequestration, improving air quality, and providing more effective stormwater filtration and runoff reduction to help keep pollutants out of water supplies.
With guidance from the Charlottesville Tree Commission, available tree varieties include Southern Red Oak, Serviceberry, Sycamore, Willow Oak, and Black Gum. Tree reservations are limited to one tree per service address and made on a first-come, first-served basis beginning Monday, March 14th.
Reservations can be accessed through Utilities’ interactive tree portal provided by the Arbor Day foundation at www.arborday.org/charlottesville. This user-friendly portal provides simple step-by-step instructions that focus on homeowner education, and maximizing environmental impact, to calculate where to specifically and strategically plant trees for the greatest energy- and money-saving benefit.
Safety is essential to a successful landscaping project, and this program serves as a great opportunity to reinforce safe digging practices with the community – especially with the outdoor project season almost here. Prior to planting a tree, customers are expected to follow the law, and contact Virginia 811 at least three working days before planting to have the location of buried utility lines on their property marked by a professional.
Knowing the location of buried utilities helps prevent their damage, and a potentially hazardous situation. The service is free, and allows customers to dig safely while planting their tree.
For more information about the Energy-Saving Trees Program and the Arbor Day Foundation contact Utilities Outreach at [email protected].