PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – For the sixth year in a row, Portland Parks and Recreation’s Urban Forestry Department will be distributing free yard trees to Portland residents. 

Over the course of six events throughout the fall, 2,000 trees will be given away. Since the event began in 2017, Portland Parks and Rec has given away over 5,000 trees. The aim is to increase tree cover across the city. Residents living within the city limits are eligible for up to two trees to plant on private property. Advanced registration is required. 

The events of the giveaway are focused on neighborhoods with the least tree cover and the highest temperatures. These locations, which are east of the Willamette River, are locally known as the “heat islands.” Temperatures so far this October have been record-breaking, and the pattern is set to continue through the weekend. 

“The need for cool, shaded areas in Portland remains clear,” said Portland Parks Commissioner Carmen Rubio. “Science has shown that trees not only cool the environment, but also play a substantial role in the larger fight against climate change.”

In addition to providing cool canopies, these trees also serve as homes for wildlife and help to increase air quality, which has direct health implications on the residents.

“It is vital to plant, care for and preserve large growing trees,” said Portland Urban Forester Jenn Cairo. “We all have a role to play preserving, growing, and protecting Portland’s tree canopy.” 

There are 21 different species of trees to choose from, with an emphasis on large-growing native evergreens, which have been deemed the most beneficial to the environment. Residents can register for their trees on the city of Portland’s website and select a good pick-up time for their trees, mulch, and watering bucket at one of the four remaining Saturday events.