Minneapolis property owners will have the chance to buy a tree for $30 through a lottery program until the end of March.
The City Trees program's popular tree lottery, a partnership between the Minneapolis Health Department and the nonprofit Tree Trust, is a low-cost way for residents to help improve the city's tree canopy. Applications will be accepted until March 31.
The City Trees program has planted more than 25,000 trees on private property since 2005. This year, they will sell 2,000 5- to 8-foot shade, fruit, evergreen and flowering trees. Lottery winners can choose from 27 species.
By the end of the first day 775 people had signed up for a chance, the city said.
How do I enter the lottery?
Residents can enter the lottery on the city's tree sale website. Lottery winners will receive an email in April with the date they can select their tree and make the $30 payment.
Normally trees can cost more than $100 depending on size, type and where you buy it.
The number of trees per property will depend on how many people enter the lottery. Entries from neighborhoods with less tree canopy will be prioritized.
Visit mpls-tree-sale.myshopify.com to enter.
How do I know which tree is best for my property?
Tree Trust's Community Forestry Department can help prospective tree owners determine which species may be best for your property. The University of Minnesota Extension website also offers tree descriptions and growing tips to help you make a selection.
If I win, how do I pick up my tree?
Winners will be able to pick up their trees at these times:
- May 20, 8 a.m. to noon.
- May 21, 9 a.m. to noon.
- May 22, 5 to 7 p.m.
The trees range in size and weigh between 20 and 40 pounds. They are able to fit into most passenger vehicles.
At pick-up, new tree owners will receive planting information and mulch. A pick-up location is still being selected.
Where can I plant my tree?
Trees must be planted on private property. Property owners can check out the plant profile and ensure there is adequate space for the tree's mature size.
Call Gopher State One Call at least three days before digging. They will mark buried utility lines.
Why is this important?
Thinner tree canopies in the metro are associated with higher average temperatures and other health effects. Twin Cities neighborhoods with the lowest tree canopy levels, such as Near North Side and Phillips, are disproportionately populated by people of color.
North Minneapolis has struggled to improvetree canopy since a 2011 tornado destroyed 150 acres of trees and the emerald ash borer ravaged ash trees in the area.
"We need to take this very seriously, it's not a situation where you can just write a check," said Kristel Porter, MN Renewable Now's executive director and the leader of the West Broadway Business & Area Coalition. "There needs to be a multilayered approach to getting those trees to the community."
How else can I get a tree?
Residents in Minneapolis' north and south Green Zones may be qualified to receive a free tree through a new City Tree program. Residents of green zone areas can apply for a free tree on Tree Trust's website, treetrust.org.
Businesses are also eligible to apply for a $30 tree through a separate program.