As part of SRP’s popular shade tree program, more than 3,000 desert-adapted shade trees were handed out to customers this fall at three drive-thru pickup events in October and November.
This year’s final tree pickup was held on Saturday, Nov. 18 at Mesa Community College. In coordination with nonprofit Trees Matter, employees and volunteers distributed more than 1,000 trees to over 600 customers. More than 2,000 trees were handed out to customers at events in Phoenix and Mesa in October.
Each SRP customer who attended an online workshop was able to choose up to two, 2-6-foot-tall tree saplings per household. Tree varieties available through the program include Native Mesquite, Thornless Mesquite, Palo Verde, Willow Acacia, Desert Willow and Lilac Chaste.
"Increasing the number of trees in the Valley not only helps residents cool their homes during the summer months, but also improves air quality," said Lori Gonzales, SRP Senior Product Manager. "Through the program, SRP distributes thousands of trees every year to help customers reduce their energy bills while also helping the environment."
When placed strategically around the home, the desert-adapted trees can help cut cooling costs during the hot summer months and require less water than other trees. SRP has distributed more than 57,000 trees through the popular Shade Tree program since it launched in 2012.
To be eligible for the program, attendees must:
- Be a current SRP residential electric customer
- Attend the workshop
- Have the legal right to plant trees on their property
- Renters need to get verbal permission from their landlord
- Plant trees on the south, west or east sides of their home
- Plant trees approximately 15-20 feet from exposed exterior walls and windows
- Be able to care for the tree, as needed
- Have not previously received trees for their property from the SRP Shade Tree Program
Before planting a tree, residents are instructed to call Arizona 811 to find out where existing underground lines are located. One call to this free service notifies the appropriate local utilities, which send technicians to the requested site to mark the approximate location of existing underground lines.
Before receiving their free shade trees, customers must attend a workshop where they learn how to care for and plant the trees. The online workshops are bilingual and closed captions are offered.
The next three virtual workshops are as follows, with the registration being here.
Thursday, Jan. 25 from 12-1 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 10 from 10-11 a.m.
Saturday, Feb. 24 from 10-11 a.m.