Free trees?


graphic courtesy of Arbor Day Foundation

graphic courtesy of Arbor Day Foundation

Has anyone else out there received a offer from Arbor Day Foundation regarding a donation of $10.00 or more gets you 10 free trees?  Saturday I received a pamplet of materials in the mail and was curious if anyone else had ever participated and received trees in the past.  Regardless whether there were free gifts involved I would love to donate to their organization.   Planting trees for the future is a wonderful way to replenish the environment.  The trees being offered this year for my area are as follows (they send 2 of each variety):

Eastern Redbud  (Cercis Canadensis)

White flowering Dogwoods  (Cornus Florida)

Flowering Crabapples  (Malus sargentii or Malus ‘Snowdrift’)

Washington Hawthorn (Crataegus phaenopyrum)

Goldenraintree (Koelreuteria paniculata)

I’m not sure if I want all these trees for my yard.  Plus the specimens they send are quite young (6-12″), but you can’t look a gift horse in the mouth can you.   In addition if you respond in 10 days they also throw in a free Crapemyrtle which does very well in my area.  I know I would love to have a Redbud, Dogwood & even the Crabapple.  I can also share these with friends & relatives if I don’t want all of them.  What do you guys & gals think of this?  Let me know, I’m eager for some advice in this matter. 


22 responses to this post.

  1. Mom did it a few years ago. They were giving out pecans then. They are pretty big now, but they were tiny when mom got them.

    Thanks for the info Deb! 🙂


  2. You should definitely do it. I would if I were given a chance and as you said, you can give the ones you can’t keep in your garden to your neighbors and friends, which might make them go for the donation too. So you’re helping the organization by making them get more donations! This is really a great thing to do!

    Thanks for the words of encouragement Chandramouli! I would donate regardless of the free gifts. 🙂


  3. My parents bought the land their current house is on years prior to building. My grandmother did this for them and got many assorted saplings and quite a few are now close to maturity. If you have the room – go for it.

    Thanks for the info Les, maybe I will go for it. It’s a good thing to donate to regardless. 🙂 I do have the room for some of these beauties even when they mature.


  4. no, but we signed up to get a free tree from our county. Can’t remember the name of it though.

    I’ve heard of cities doing that too Darla. Thanks anyhow. 🙂


  5. I have done it before, but like you said the trees are very young. You must take care to get them big. Normally planting them in pots until they are larger. Not a bad deal if you are patient. My sister and I know others who have good sized trees from this place growing in their gardens-I say go for it.

    Thanks for the valuable information and advice Tina. I think I will go for it! 🙂


  6. We’ve done it before. We didn’t use the trees but they were actually about 18 inches or so tall. I forgot we got them and I let them decay in the packaging. 😦 We really didn’t have the room for them anyway.

    Thanks for the info Randy! I might try potting them up until they reach a decent size for transplanting. I’m thinking a few of them like the Dogwoods might work well in the new bed I want to create along my driveway.


  7. I have several planted around our yard right now. The deer ate a few and a couple others didn’t make it. The hemlocks died off fairly quick. I have a Cherry tree that was supposed to be a Yoshino but I think it might be a different kind. Hopefully it will bloom this year and I’ll find out for sure. You can go online and select different trees if you want. They have several packages. It’s a good deal if you can baby them. We have a crabapple that is about 10′ tall in 3 years from Arbor day. It’s first year was spent in a pot.

    As thrifty as you are Dave I knew you would have probably tried this. Thanks for the info. I might go check out the site again & revise the selections. Smaller trees would be great along my driveway in the bed I plan on creating there this spring.


  8. I’ve not gotten the trees before, but I’ve seen the campaign over the years and wondered about it. I now have enough open land that I can try them — but, I have to get permission from our HOA to plant trees in the meadows.


    I’ve seen the campaign before too, but never received the pamplet from them in the past. You must have plenty of space to try out some trees. Thanks Cameron!


  9. I have gotten this offer before, too, and always wanted to try it, Racquel. Looks like the commenters say it’s a good deal. I’ll check back later to see if anyone has something negative to say.It seems like the money does go to the legitimate Arbor Day group,so even if the trees don’t survive, you’ve still helped a good cause.

    Thanks Rose. I’m thinking I have nothing to lose in the long run either. I think I will go for it and try them in containers for a year. 🙂


  10. I have heard of this offer before but never have done it. I say if you want to contribute to a worthy cause then this is a no lose situation. All those trees sound great except for the Hawthorne. Did it say how long it would take before you received your trees?

    That’s what I’m thinking too Susie. “No lose situation” I’ve never grown a Hawthorne, is it a bad tree? Nope, it didn’t say when they would mail the trees, probably after the last frost date for my zone is what I’m thinking. 🙂


  11. It looks like a wonderful offer — and your donation will be doing good work to boot.

    Thanks Nancy, that’s what I’m thinking too! 🙂


  12. Even a tiny tree will grow when given time. I have done this in the past and have had success when they are planted and cared for properly. I say go for it!

    Thanks for the great advice Cinj! 🙂


  13. Hi Racquel, I have made the donation and had a little more choice on trees. Only one of the trees survived! My fault…the small bare rooted guys came while we were out of town,but also…I didn’t plan ahead where I would plant them! The Washington Hawthorn looks lovely and is the only survivor! You can see it next to the photo of the waiting bench on my blog. I think $10 for a tree isn’t bad! gail

    Thanks for sharing your experience Gail. I will go check out your Hawthorne. It is a good deal and a good organization to donate to!


  14. Posted by greenwalks on January 19, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Wow, that’s a pretty amazing deal! And if it contains trees that you actually want and have space fore… why not, I say?!

    Thanks Karen for the words of encouragement! 😉


  15. my mother did this and was very pleased. I’ve been on their website and will be ordering some trees today. I love all the info they give on the trees, and super cheap price:)

    Thanks for the info Carla. 🙂


  16. I don’t think the Hawthorne is a bad tree. It just isn’t one of my favorites. It could possibly do well in your area.

    I will have to do some research, I’m not even sure if I know what this tree looks like. Thanks Susie!


  17. I’m not familiar with this program Racquel but it sounds good. We planted an assortment of really small trees in our Wyoming garden (years ago) and it didn’t seem to take too long for them to take off and grow a lot. I hope it works out for you if you decide to pursue it.

    Thanks Kathleen for the encouragement in this matter. I most likely will give this program a go. 🙂


  18. Posted by skeeter on January 20, 2009 at 11:38 am

    My neighbor did this and got a bunch of dogwoods with a higher donation. I believe this was 3 or maybe 4 years ago. She gave us 10 of them. I planted them in pots to get a bit stronger before planting in the yard. 3 took off and are over 12 feet tall and bloomed for the first time last year. 1 is about 3 feet tall now. 2 are about 2 foot tall but have been attacked by the deer more then once. The others died. Sigh, I say go for it as the selections you will get are wonderful….

    Sounds like good odds to me Skeeter. I would love to have some Dogwoods for the new bed I plan on making along the driveway this year. Thanks for the info about this program.


  19. I’m like you… I’d probably donate regardless of whether they sent me free trees. I’m such a tree-lover that I’d have a hard time picking my freebies. 🙂

    It is a good organization according to some of the other bloggers Cindy and like you the choice of which trees won’t be an easy decision.


  20. Hi Racquel, I have done this one and want to tell you about it. In 2000 when we first moved back to TN and had a big blank space in the back and no extra money I joined. The trees they sent were quite small and some were not ones I wanted at all, like the hawthorn and raintree, and we already have loads of dogwood seedlings BUT, they sent 5 crapemyrtles that are now 15 feet tall! Also, a red maple was a bonus because I ordered some azaleas from a pamphlet they sent. It is the ferngully replacement and is 20 feet tall easily, narrow because of my judiciuous pruning, as are the crapes, all were limbed up as they grew. This is a great deal if you have the patience, and what gardener doesn’t have that? It is a requirement. Do it! 🙂

    Thanks for telling me about the experience you have with this program. Sounds like it is worth it to get some wonderful specimens that I can watch grow over the years. Thank you Frances! 🙂


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