Root for trees logo.

Iowa City is offering the “Root for Trees” program for the second annual year. Residents can apply for a voucher that subsidizes the cost of a tree planted on residential property. This voucher can be obtained by filling out an online application. Vouchers are valid for 50% off the cost of the retail purchase price of one tree, up to $125 (a $250 tree). Vouchers for an additional discount off retail price are available for income-eligible households. The Root for Trees program runs from September 15, 2021, to May 15, 2022, while funding and supplies last. 

Learn how you can participate

Iowa City residents who would like to plant a tree this fall or spring should visit the City’s website, and complete an application. Approved applicants will receive their vouchers in 7 to 10 business days via mail. If an application is denied, the applicant will be contacted via email. Once the voucher is received, participants can visit one of two local garden centers to select their planting of choice and arrange for purchase. Maple and pear trees are not eligible for purchase. Vouchers are eligible for redemption at the Iowa City Earl May Garden Center, 1901 Lower Muscatine Road or Iowa City Landscaping and Garden Center, 520 Highway 1 W.

Residents must plant their tree on their property. If they would like to plant in the Right-of-Way, a no-fee permit is required prior to tree purchase. Before any yard digging is started, residents should call Iowa One Call at 811 to ensure utilities are properly located.  

Trees provide a variety of health and quality of life benefits, including improved neighborhood appearance, shade, and wind breaks which lower energy bills, decreased stormwater runoff, and habitat for birds and other urban wildlife. 

Iowa City's Climate Action & Adaptation Plan

The City’s Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, available at, calls for an increase in the number of public and private tree plantings through a variety of incentives and education programs. 

Those interested can learn more and apply to participate at

Date of publication

Wednesday, September 08, 2021