Free Trees at our annual "Arbor Day Tree Giveaway"

Help Sycamore Land Trust celebrate trees! Come get a free tree seedling at our annual “Arbor Day Tree Giveaway.” This year, we will give away more than 600 native tree saplings for free in Bloomington.

For more than a decade, Sycamore Land Trust’s annual “Arbor Day Tree Giveaway” has distributed hundreds of free tree seedlings each Arbor Day to help 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 distribute over 600 tree seedlings.

“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, Sycamore Land Trust’s Executive Director.

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 26, 2024. Our Arbor Day Tree Giveaway will be held on Saturday, April 27, 2024.


Arbor Day Tree Giveaway
Bloomingfoods East & Near West
3220 E 3rd St. & 316 W 6th St. Bloomington, IN
Saturday, April 27, 2024
10am – 1pm (while supplies last) 

Available Tree Species (while supplies last):

Buttonbush Cephalanthus occidentalis
Pawpaw Asimina triloba
Pecan Carya illinoinensis
Persimmon Diospyros virginiana 
Red oak Quercus rubra
Eastern redbud Cercis canadensis

Learn about tree species and planting information below. Please be aware that the species you want might run out before you get there!  Thanks to our friends at Bloomingfoods Co-op Market 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.


Download a PDF of planting instructions (with images and explanations)

The following tips and species suggestions come from the City of Bloomington’s 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.


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