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


San Marcos – 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.

The program 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

Related Articles

One Comment

  1. Such bad science.

    1. Trees don’t filter sediments from flowing into streams. Grass does. Trees provide an anchor to hold the soil in place that allows grass to grow.
    2. By there estimate a tree, even a mature tree, “saves” less than 2.5 gallons of water per day.

    I’m not opposed to this program. Sure trees look pretty and they help keep cooling costs down. But let’s be honest. This is going to have impact on par with the vines that grow up around my garage. Nearly none, because the garage door still gets full sun.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button