The City of Fort Lauderdale presents Save a Tree, Plant a Tree, an innovative program that merges environmental protection and resource savings by offering free trees to Fort Lauderdale customers who switch to a paper-free utility billing process.
Save a Tree, Plant a Tree offers many benefits, including:
1. It promotes and encourages sustainability through paper-free services that save energy and natural resources.
The City of Fort Lauderdale prints approximately 54,000 utility bills each month, which equals 108 reams of paper. It takes 6 percent of one tree to make one ream of paper and one tree makes 16.67 reams of paper. If every City of Fort Lauderdale utility billing customer received an e-bill, he or she could help save approximately 6.5 trees per month or 78 trees per year1.
2. It increases the City’s tree canopy to cool, shade, and beautify homes, neighborhoods, paths, parks, and roads.
Twenty seven percent of the City of Fort Lauderdale is currently canopied by trees, exceeding the City’s goal of 25 percent by 2018. Now the goal shifts to maintaining coverage as trees are lost naturally through senescence and increasing the canopy coverage in any neighborhood areas still below this threshold. The tree canopy is vital to the health and beauty of the City, as it has many positive impacts. Trees provide shade, which helps reduce the heat island effect, a phenomenon of urban areas being warmer than surrounding rural areas due to the amount of concrete and asphalt being heated by the sun. Trees also help reduce stormwater runoff, filter pollutants, absorb carbon dioxide and provide oxygen, conserve household energy, save water, prevent soil erosion, and create a food source and safe home for native wildlife.
Trees also give a rural feel to urban areas, create recreational opportunities, and help increase property values. They also serve as landmarks that give neighborhoods a unique identity, as well as character and charm through their diverse shapes and sizes. Visually, trees help transform areas of brown, black and white into beautiful canopies of green.
3. It is a fiscally responsible alternative that helps “green” Fort Lauderdale while reducing expenses.
The City of Fort Lauderdale has 50,9862 utility customers and just 3,052 are signed up for e-billing. If the remaining utility billing customers only signed up for e-billing, the City of Fort Lauderdale would save approximately $183,499 per year, or $15,292 per month, on paper and postage needed to send out utility bills.
1. Calculations are based on a 40-foot tall tree that is six to eight inches in diameter.
2. Calculations are based on the number of utility customers as of 03/22/13.
GET A TREE BY GOING PAPER-FREE!
Getting a free tree is easy. Fort Lauderdale utility customers just need to sign up for Automatic Bill Payment and/or E-billing and then pick up their tree, or two trees if signed up for both services, on the prescheduled day set for the timeframe they signed up in. (please see the pickup schedule below).
Before selecting a tree, it is very important to read the descriptions for each type of tree available to select the right one for the right place, and one that can be easily trimmed and maintained. In addition, it is equally important to know how to properly plant the new tree and where it can be planted. Review the Save A Tree Plant A Tree FAQ for more information Planting a Tree Instructions will also be provided on the tree pickup days.
Please note that trees received through this program are intended to be installed solely on private property, as they are too small to be installed within the right of way (ROW) swale areas. For information on the City's program for planting trees in the ROW swale, see the Adopt-a-Tree program.
TYPES OF TREES AVAILABLE
Three types of trees are available as part of the Save a Tree, Plant a Tree program, and they are native and Florida-friendly. This means the trees are adapted to Florida’s climate, are not invasive, and require minimal water, chemicals, and fertilizers.
1. Live Oak – A large tree that will be 30 or more feet tall when mature.
2. Pigeon Plum – A medium tree that will be 20 to 30 feet tall when mature.
3. Jamaica Caper – A small tree that will be 20 feet tall or less when mature.
TREE PICKUP SCHEDULE
Contact Mark Williams at 954-828-5785 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org for information regarding scheduling tree pickup. Proof of residency (i.e., utility bill, electric bill, driver’s license, etc.) will be required when picking up trees.
Please note that distribution of free trees through this program has now officially resumed and additional information concerning upcoming giveaways will be posted here as it becomes available.
For more information about the Save a Tree, Plant a Tree program, please call the City of Fort Lauderdale Utility Billing Office at (954) 828-5150.