Arbor Day 2021 Native Tree Seedling Giveaway sponsored by IU Health

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

To celebrate Arbor Day 2021, Sycamore Land Trust and our generous sponsor IU Health will provide free native tree seedlings on Saturday, May 1, 2021, at Bloomingfoods East (3220 E 3rd St.) and Bloomingfoods Near West (316 W 6th St.) starting a 10am while supplies last.  Limit one free tree seedling per person.

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 our Facebook event page. Thanks to Bloomingfoods for co-hosting this event and to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources for supplying the seedlings.

Take a photo with your tree and share it on our Facebook or Instagram page 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.


Red oak: With beautiful red fall foliage, this fast-growing native grows 50-100’ tall, prefers full sun and well-drained soil, and supports a myriad of native insects, which attracts birds. Small mammals enjoy the acorns.

Tulip poplar: Our state tree with bright gold fall foliage, this deciduous native attracts birds and butterflies and grows very straight and tall up to 75-150’. It prefers part shade to full sun and rich, moist soils.

Hazelnut: An important native conservation shrub that attracts birds and squirrels with its edible nuts, it grows 6-12’ tall and prefers part shade to shade and well-drained soils.

Buttonbush: This native shrub is suited for wet areas and provides a nectar source for native bees and butterflies. Its fruits attract more than 24 species of birds. It grows 6-12’ tall, prefers part sun/shade, enjoys moist soil, and is a good choice along ponds.