Native Tree Seedling Giveaway

Help wildlife and beautify your yard with a native tree seedling!

This weekend, we will have free native tree seedlings available at both Bloomingfoods locations: 316 W 6th St and 3220 E 3rd St.

Simply stop by during open hours on Saturday and Sunday (as supplies last) to pick up your seedling. Learn about tree species and planting information below. Please be aware that the type you want might run out before you get there.

For updates as trees run out, visit the Facebook event page. Thanks to Bloomingfoods for co-hosting this event, and to the Indiana DNR for donating the seedlings. These seedlings were originally intended for our annual Arbor Day Tree Giveaway, which was canceled this year due to the coronavirus.

Take a photo with your tree and share it on the Facebook event or email it to if you’d like Sycamore to use it in the future! It’s fun to see these Arbor Day Tree Giveaway trees grow over the years.


PDF of planting instructions (with images and explanations)

The following tips and species suggestions come from the City of Bloomington’s fantastic Tree Care Manual. When you pick the right tree, be sure to read up on tips for planting and care to help your seedling grow. Check out the manual for details, but here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Lay down plenty of mulch at the base of the tree, and form it into a donut rather than a volcano shape to direct water toward the tree.
  • For the first three years, water it with 10 gallons per week if there hasn’t been rain.
  • When planting a bare-rooted seedling, don’t bend the root. Dig the hole deep enough to fit the root.
  • Staking might be necessary to provide support for the first two or three years.
  • A tube around the tree seedling in its early years can help protect against deer, rabbits, and mowers/string trimmers.
  • Be sure to plant your seedling with plenty of clearance so when it reaches its full size, it won’t interfere with any structures or pavement.


Black cherryedible fruit in late summer for birds and mammals (including humans! but remove the pits, which can be toxic in large quantities), pretty spring flowers, can grow over 100 feet, full sun, leaves provide food for caterpillars

Pawpawsmall tree/large shrub, fruit is edible by humans and lots of wildlife but requires cross-pollination, good for shady areas and understory or forest edges, pretty flowers, attracts birds and butterflies


Red oakbeautiful red leaves in fall, grows up to 75 feet, full sun, incredible benefits for wildlife (acorns, nesting habitat, insects in bark)

Tulip poplar: our state tree! 70-90 feet tall, tolerates some drought and clay soil, bountiful seeds provide food for many species, beautiful yellow fall color