Free Trees at our annual "Arbor Day Tree Giveaway"

This year marks the 150th anniversary of National Arbor Day!  As a proud member of the Alliance for Community Trees, an Arbor Tree Foundation program, Sycamore Land Trust will celebrate by expanding our annual “Arbor Day Tree Giveaway” to distribute more than 800 native tree saplings for free in southern Indiana. 

For more than a decade, Sycamore Land Trust’s annual “Arbor Day Tree Giveaway” has distributed hundreds of free trees seedlings each Arbor Day to encourage our community create beneficial native habitat at home.  Planting trees creates food and shelter for wildlife, absorbs carbon dioxide, and stores carbon in the soil.  This year, Sycamore will more than double the number of trees seedlings distributed to over 800, make more native tree species available than ever before, and expand the event to include a new giveaway location in Evansville in partnership with Wild Birds Unlimited, Evansville Audubon Society, and Ancient Roots Native Nursery.

“Creating beneficial native habitat for wildlife is just as important at home in our yards and neighborhoods as it is in the nature preserves we protect. We hope this event will inspire our community to join us in planting more native trees to preserve Indiana’s biodiversity,” said John Lawrence, Executive Director at Sycamore Land Trust.

Arbor Day is a global holiday to celebrate the planting, upkeep, preservation, and ecological importance of trees. Although some states celebrate Arbor Day at different times of year to ensure that the trees are in the best environment to thrive, the national observance falls on the last Friday in April.  This year, Arbor Day is on Friday, April 29, 2022, and marks its 150th anniversary.

“Arbor Day Tree Giveaway – Bloomington”
Bloomingfoods East & Near West
3220 E 3rd St. & 316 W 6th St. Bloomington, IN
Saturday, April 30, 2022
10am – 1pm (while supplies last) 

“Arbor Day Tree Giveaway – Evansville”
Old National Bank Atrium
One Main Street, Evansville, IN
Friday, April 29, 2022
11am – 1pm (while supplies last)


For updates as trees run out, follow us on social media @sycamorelandtrust. Learn about tree species and planting information below. Please be aware that the type you want might run out before you get there. 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.


The tree seedlings were grown at Indiana Department of Natural Resource’s Vallonia Tree Nursery and are 1-3 years old.  The following tree species will be available in Bloomington:

The following species will be available in Evansville on Friday, April 29: American plum, common chokecherry, black cherry, pin oak, and blackgum/tupelo.


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