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Forest Hills to Get Greener Thanks to Tree Giveaway

 Forest Hills residents will have the chance to pick up one of 200 free trees this weekend and plant them on their properties.
Forest Hills Tree Giveaway Event
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QUEENS — Forest Hills will soon be living up to its name a little more.

Residents will have the chance to pick up one of 200 free trees this weekend, and plant them on their properties in what organizers call an attempt to restore the “forest” factor in neighborhood's name.

The event, organized by The Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance, will take place in MacDonald Park on Queens Boulevard and 70th Avenue, which lost sixty mature trees during a tornado in 2010, organizers said.

Similar events in previous years drew dozens of residents each time.

This year, tree lovers will be able to chose from a variety of species donated by the New York Restoration Project, including witch-hazel, natchez crape myrtle, leonard messel magnolia, centennial magnolia, Persian ironwood, and dawn redwood.

The event is part of a citywide program, which, according to organizers, aims to correspond with MillionTreesNYC, an initiative to green public spaces.

“But private homes, apartment buildings, religious institutions, and community gardens also represent a great percentage of the city which merits tree-planting,” The Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance wrote in a statement earlier this week.

"Many community residents did not realize the benefits of century-old trees, until some them succumbed in seconds during the September 2010 macroburst, which was followed by Hurricane Irene in August 2011 and Hurricane Sandy in October 2012,” said Michael Perlman, Forest Hills tree giveaway organizer. “Trees enhance a community’s aesthetics and property values, and most significantly contribute to its environmental sustainability."

Some residents preregistered for the event but those who did not are also welcome to participate, the group said.

Those interested don't have to live in Forest Hills but "the tree has to planted within the five boroughs of the city," said Stephen Melnick, a volunteer helping with the event.

Melnick also said that most of the trees that will be given away are small enough to be carried.

Tree-inspired artwork created by local students will be displayed in the park during the event, organizers said.

The event will take place on Sunday, May 19, from 1 to 3 p.m. To get more information or to reserve a tree in advance, go here.