Neighborhood Forest Inaugurates Neighborhood Forest Day – April 26th

April 26th, 2022

Happy Neighborhood Forest Day!

This year, Neighborhood Forest introduced April 26th as Neighborhood Forest Day – A Festival of (Free) Trees celebrating kids, trees, and the planet.

Neighborhood Forest Day falls in the heart of Earth Week (April 22-30) – four days after Earth Day (April 22) and a few days before Arbor Day (which is observed on the last Friday in April).

Neighborhood Forest Day is a day of celebration – recognizing the goodness and generosity of humanity – a celebration of abundance, unity, connection, and joy.

Trees have a way of bringing people together. Neighborhood Forest is serving people in red states and blue states, rural and urban settings, and people from every race, religion, age group, and socio-economic demographic represented in our country.

We don’t discriminate on any basis. Just as the tree provides shade to all who seek it, Neighborhood Forest provides free trees to all children.

This Earth Week, Neighborhood Forest gave 40,000 kids in 48 states (including Canada) their very own tree to plant. Since 2010, we have reached over 250,000 families, over 900 institutions, and given over 90,000 kids their very own tree to plant!

Our goal is to reach every child in North America and eventually the world.

Join us in our celebration!

Your Trees Are Coming Soon!

April 11th, 2022

Dear Parents, Grand Parents, Guardians, Volunteers, Coordinators, Families, and Children,

Your trees are coming soon!

You are one of 30,000+ individuals that will be planting a tree during Earth Week (April 22-30). Most of you will be planting this tree with your child(ren) and / or family and friends.

Together, with your help and efforts, 40,000 trees will be planted in 48 states (including Canada) in just a couple of weeks!

You are part of one of the largest coordinated, volunteer, urban / residential tree planting projects – involving children – in North America!

We are thrilled that you are participating!

This email contains important information about your trees, including

1) Arrival information – trees will be available to you sometime during Earth Week (April 22-30). The Neighborhood Forest Coordinator at your school, library, youth group, or organization will be in touch with you about pick-up / send-home details as we get closer to Earth Day (April 22). If you do not hear from them or do not receive your trees by April 28th, please contact them and / or us to ensure that you receive your tree(s).

2) Species details – check out the 9 beautiful species we are shipping to different states and provinces across the continent! We aim to provide native trees in all the regions we serve.

3) Planting and Care Instructions – we are very pleased to have partnered with NuMinds Enrichment to create this lovely online, kid-friendly, engaging tutorial on planting and caring for your tree.

4) STEAM Curriculum – NuMinds has also created this wonderful 6-lesson “Science of Trees” curriculum (Grades K through 6+) to augment and enrich the tree planting and learning experience. Each purchase of the curriculum will fund 4 free trees for children next year!

5) The Neighborhood Forest Board Game – the geniuses at NuMinds have also created this amazing, new, original Neighborhood Forest Board Game! Fun for the whole family and / or classroom. This game takes participants on a journey of planting and growing their own Neighborhood Forest. With each purchase of the board game, you get the “Science of Trees” curriculum and 8 kids get free trees next year!

6) Share a picture on our Facebook page! Want to thank us? Please share photos of your kids with their trees – we love seeing and sharing the photos, which will eventually add to our growing library of “then and nows“. Thank you!

We are giving away 9 different species of trees in 48 states (including Canada) this year:

Douglas-fir
(Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming)

Eastern Redcedar
(Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio)

Hackberry
(Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Washington DC)

Incense Cedar
(Arizona, California, Nevada)

Red Maple
(Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia)

Southern Magnolia
(Texas)

Tamarack
(Alaska, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Wisconsin)

White Birch
(Massachusetts, Pennsylvania)

White Spruce
(Ontario, Canada)

These are all beautiful trees!

Pictures and descriptions of each species here.

Some key points to keep in mind:

1) Keep your tree in a cool, dark place (refrigerated for those in northern states) until you plant it

2) Protect your newly planted tree from wildlife and lawnmowers with a little fence and netting

3) Put some mulch around it

4) Water generously or in accordance with recommendations for your particular tree species

5) Please take a picture of your child(ren) with your newly planted tree (and share on our Facebook page, if you are comfortable) – watching your tree and kids grow together is a magical joy!

Finally, I want to say that these trees are small and vulnerable. Not all of them survive and that is Ok. It is a part of life and a part of the tree planting process. We do our part and then we have to leave the rest to Mother Nature. A lost tree seedling might break a child’s heart and there is a great lesson in this too. We mustn’t give up! We will keep sending you trees each year and we will keep on planting them.

I had to plant many trees before this one finally made it and reached maturity!

Thank you, again, for participating in Neighborhood Forest’s 13th annual free tree giveaway. We are excited to see all the smiling faces with their little trees!

Our program is made possible through generous donations and sponsorships. Check out our growing community of sponsors.

If you, an organization, a business, or someone you know would like to sponsor our program, please contact us or go to our GoFundMe campaign. We still have some funds to raise!

Thank you!

Happy Earth Day (4/22)
Happy Neighborhood Forest Day (4/26)
Happy Arbor Day (4/30)

Happy Earth Week (4/22-4/30)

Happy Spring!

Warmly,
Vikas and The Neighborhood Forest Team

2022 Tree Species Details

Please check out our planting instructions and “Science of Trees” curriculum here.

Douglasfir

(Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming)

Botanist-explorer David Douglas — this tree’s namesake — described it as “one of the most striking and truly graceful objects in nature.” Tree expert Michael Dirr heralded it as “one of the noblest forest trees.” To say the Douglas Fir is beloved by the tree people of the world is definitely accurate.

The general public has a number of reasons to appreciate this tree as well. Douglasfir is one of the nation’s most important lumber species, it makes up nearly half of all Christmas trees grown in the U.S., and its attractive appearance and growth rate make it popular in yards and parks.

The Douglasfir grows to a height of 40–70 feet and a spread of 12–20 feet at maturity.

This tree grows at a medium rate, with height increases of 13–24 inches per year.

Full sun and partial shade are best for this tree, meaning it prefers a minimum of four hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

The Douglasfir prefers acidic or neutral soil that is well-drained, though it can also be found in its native habitat of rocky mountain slopes. It is sensitive to drought.

This tree does best on a roomy site with an abundance of atmospheric moisture and can be injured by high winds.

Douglasfir seeds are used by blue grouse, songbirds, squirrels, rabbits and other small animals. Antelope, deer, elk, mountain goats and mountain sheep eat the twigs and foliage. It provides excellent cover for a wide range of animals.

While the Douglasfir may have first been introduced to cultivation by botanist-explorer David Douglas in 1826, its importance to American history continues unabated. As well as being the country’s top source of lumber today, the Douglasfir also helped settle the West, providing railroad ties and telephone/telegraph poles.

Source: Arbor Day Foundation

Eastern Redcedar

(Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio)

The eastern redcedar grows to a height of 40–50 feet and a spread of 8–20 feet at maturity and grows at a medium rate, with height increases of 13–24 inches per year.

Redcedars are unusually long-lived, with the potential to live over 900 years. The oldest tree reported, from West Virginia, is 940 years old!

Full sun is the ideal condition for this tree, meaning it should get at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Redcedar foliage provides nesting and roosting cover for sparrows, robins, mockingbirds, juncos, and warblers.

The eastern redcedar is an ancient tree, dating back to aboriginal America.

Source: Arbor Day Foundation

Hackberry

(Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Washington DC)

The hackberry is commonly heralded by tree experts as “one tough tree.” Found on a wide range of soils east of the Rockies from southern Canada to Florida, these trees thrive in a broad span of temperatures and on sites that vary from 14 to 60″ of annual rainfall. They can even stand up to strong winds and tolerate air pollution.  

The hackberry grows well in a variety of soils.  It has some tolerance for both flooding and drought.

All of this hardiness adds up to a good landscape choice, particularly if you’re looking for an energy-conserving shade tree that doesn’t require watering.

The hackberry grows to a height of 40–60 feet and a spread of 40–60 feet at maturity. This tree grows at a medium to fast rate, with height increases of anywhere from 13 inches to more than 24 inches per year.

Full sun is the ideal condition for this tree, meaning it should get at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

The hackberry forms characteristic corky ridges and warts on trunk and branches and tolerates strong winds, pollution, heat, drought, and salt.  

It has a growth pattern that resembles the elm – without the susceptibility to disease.

The fruit of the hackberry is popular with winter birds, especially the cedar waxwing, mockingbird and robin. The tree also attracts many butterfly species including American snout, hackberry, mourning cloak, and tawny emperor.

Source: Arbor Day Foundation

Incense Cedar

(Arizona, California, Nevada)

Incense Cedar is a coniferous tree native to western North America.

As the name suggests, all parts of the tree are wonderfully aromatic.

It is a large tree, typically reaching heights of 100–130 feet. The largest known tree, located in Klamath National Forest, Siskiyou County, California, is 157 feet tall with a 39-foot circumference trunk and a 57 foot spread.

This is a fast-growing tree, adding at least 12 inches a year in its early years.

This tree can live to over 500 years old.

With its thick bark, the incense cedar is one of the most fire- and drought-tolerant plants in California.

Plant Incense Cedar in a sunny or lightly shaded area. It grows well in a wide range of soils, growing best in fertile and well-drained soils.

New plants should be kept moist for the first few years.

Indigenous people of California use the plant in traditional medicine, basket making, hunting bows, building materials, and to produce fire by friction. A Northern California tribe used branchlets to filter out sand from water when removing toxins from acorn meal; foliage also served as a flavoring.

The tree can be utilized for the creation of essential oils. Scientific studies have shown that these essential oils have the ability to lower the levels of microbes, such as bacteria and viruses.

Source: Wikipedia

Red Maple

(Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia)

The Red Maple brings color to your landscape year-round. Green stems turn red in winter, new leaves are red-tinged, turning to green. Fall color is deep red or yellow. Flowers are also red.

The Red Maple grows to a height of 40–60 feet and a spread of around 40 feet at maturity.

This tree grows at a medium to fast rate, with height increases of anywhere from 13 inches to more than 24 inches per year.

Full sun is the ideal condition for this tree, meaning it should get at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

The Red Maple grows in acidic, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, silty loam, well-drained and clay soils. It prefers wet soil conditions but has slight drought tolerance.

The fruits (samaras) provide food for squirrels and many other rodents. Rabbits and deer eat the tender shoots and leaves of red maples.

The Red Maple has many claims to fame, including the greatest north–south range of any tree species living entirely in the eastern forests (Newfoundland to southern Florida).

The nation’s largest Red Maple lies in Great Smokey Mountains National Park. This tree was declared champion in 1997 by American Forests and is listed in the National Register of Big Trees as being 141 feet tall and just over 7 feet in diameter.

Source: Arbor Day Foundation

Southern Magnolia

(Texas)

The Southern Magnolia has large, creamy white and very fragrant flowers that grace this broad-leafed evergreen in late spring and early summer. Leaves are shiny green, reddish underneath.

It blooms May through June, with some blossoms throughout the summer months.

The southern magnolia grows to a height of 60–80 feet and a spread of around 40 feet at maturity.

This tree grows at a slow to medium rate, with height increases of anywhere from less than 12-24 inches per year.

Full sun and partial shade are best for this tree, meaning it prefers a minimum of four hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

The southern magnolia grows in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained and clay soils. It can withstand some flooding and has moderate drought tolerance.

The southern magnolia is an evergreen, keeping most (but not all) of its leaves year-round. It yields fruit that is 3–8″ long, attracting squirrels, rabbits and birds—including wild turkey.

The southern magnolia is better placed in landscaping rather than along a street due to the leathery leaves and large seed pods that are shed in the fall.

The name magnolia honors a French botanist, Pierre Magnol, who admired the tree so much that he transplanted it to Europe 300 years ago.

Source: Arbor Day Foundation

Tamarack

(Alaska, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Wisconsin)

Neighborhood Forest is excited to bring the Tamarack to our list of species this year in honor of Tamarack District Library in Lakeview, Michigan, which was instrumental in helping us go viral last year.

One of the most beautiful trees in the far northern forests of North America is the colorful deciduous conifer, commonly called the tamarack.

The Tamarack is one of the few conifer trees that changes color and drops its needles in the fall / winter.

The species turns a dazzling yellow in the fall before dropping its needles to reveal attractive flaking bark in the winter months to have its needles re-emerge a blue-green hue for the spring and summer. Every year those lovely falling needles create a fine mulch that is pleasing to the eye and completely sustainable.

The Tamarack grows up to 40 to 80 feet tall and 15 to 30 feet wide.

This species of tree requires full sun. Tamarack trees are completely intolerant of shade, so it’s important to clear out competing trees or shrubs. Making sure that your tree can grow in direct sun should help to ensure it gets adequate spacing. Place it at least 15 feet from any other trees.

When you decide where to plant your tree, realize that this species does not like competition; it will require a good amount of space between it and any other trees to thrive.

In nature, tamaracks grow in wet areas such as bogs or swamps. Planting it in an area that gets moisture that replicates these conditions will be best for the tree. This is less important than providing ample sun but will cut down on your supplemental watering needs.

Wet, organic soil is best for Tamaracks. It is native to a type of bog called muskeg, which is comprised of peat. This rich wet acidic soil is preferred and will help your tree thrive, but as far as soil needs go, the tamarack is more adaptable here than it is for its sun requirements.

Tamarack trees require some supplemental water, especially during periods of drought and when the tree is first establishing itself. It will not tolerate being overly dry, so keeping the soil beneath it moist is important. On initial planting, adding two to three inches of good organic mulch to the dripline will help retain moisture. After a few seasons, you won’t need to add more mulch since the tree makes its own beautiful needle mulch.

During the first three years, it is important to give your tree water weekly. Follow the standard of 10 gallons per inch of trunk diameter measured by caliper at knee height. If the weather is really dry, increase the water to 15 gallons—the tamarack won’t mind!

Source: TheSpruce.com

White Birch

(Massachusetts, Pennsylvania)

Beauty and romance may be the first images many people associate with the gleaming white paper birch. But this symbol of the north country has earned its place in history as a continuously useful tree that has served North Americans since the earliest days of human activity.

Today it is one of the best-loved trees of the New England landscape, planted often for the beauty of its distinctive bark and golden fall color.

The white birch (also known as paper birch) grows to a height of 50–70 feet and a spread of around 35 feet at maturity.

This tree grows at a medium to fast rate, with height increases of anywhere from 13 inches to more than 24 inches per year.

Full sun and partial shade are best for this tree, meaning it prefers a minimum of four hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

The paper birch grows well in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained and clay soils. While it prefers normal moisture, the tree has some drought tolerance.

This tree develops a smooth white bark that curls and peels (once mature), provides bright yellow fall color, and produces brown or green catkins in April and May.

The white birch received its name from the nature of its bark. Long ago, people would peel layers of the thin, paper-like bark and write on it as a way to send messages. Sometimes known as canoe birch—recalling its favor among Native Americans and early fur trappers as a resource for sleek, sturdy, and lightweight watercraft.

Source: Arbor Day Foundation

White Spruce

(Ontario, Canada)

The white spruce grows to a height of 40–60 feet and a spread of 10–20 feet at maturity. This tree grows at a medium rate, with height increases of 13–24 inches per year.

This tree thrives in a lot of sunlight – ideally six hours of direct sunlight per day. The white spruce grows well in a variety of different soils and has some drought tolerance.

The white spruce does well when transplanted. It can withstand wind, heat, cold, drought, crowding, and some shade. It does well in cities and often serves as rural windbreaks.

Aside from providing nesting for birds and shelter for other animals, white spruces provide food for many kinds of wildlife. Crossbills, evening grosbeaks, and red-breasted nuthatches feed on its seeds. The foliage is eaten by grouse, rabbits, and deer. Red squirrels bite open cones to eat the seeds, and they delight upon young, tender spruce shoots.

When Jacques Cartier sailed up the broad St. Lawrence River in 1535, he became the first European to see North America’s white spruces. As he laid claim to the lands he beheld, he proclaimed them to be “as beautiful…as one could wish for.” The trees, he said, were “the finest trees in the world.”

Source: Arbor Day Foundation

Please check out our planting instructions and “Science of Trees” curriculum here.

Neighborhood Forest Receives $125,000 Matching Grant

Vincent Argiro, philanthropist, entrepreneur, poet, and sailor, has recently offered a matching grant of up to $125,000 for Neighborhood Forest’s Earth Day 2022 free tree giveaway. For every dollar raised between now and Earth Day (April 22), Vincent will match, dollar-for-dollar, up to $125,000 in donations. By reaching this goal, Neighborhood Forest will be able to give a record 50,000 children their very own tree to plant on Earth Day 2022.

Neighborhood Forest is honored and delighted to have Vincent Argiro as our founding member of the Board of Trustees.

Vincent has long had a deep love for trees and the planet, beginning with the first Earth Day in 1970 when he was just 14 years old. Since joining the board of Neighborhood Forest in 2019, he has single-handedly committed to giving over 40,000 children their very own tree to plant on Earth Day.

His attention and guidance to our program have helped it reach new heights of possibility and scale. Vincent has a long track record of creating vision and bringing that vision to life. In the late 1980s, he founded a revolutionary medical software company (Vital Images, Inc., now part of Canon Medical Informatics), which ended up touching the lives of millions of patients across the world by revolutionizing aspects of radiological diagnosis and surgical planning.

Vincent’s connection to Neighborhood Forest’s roots go deep. He met Vikas Narula, Neighborhood Forest Founder, when Vikas was in high school. He watched from afar as Vikas worked alongside fellow college students at Maharishi International University (MIU) to plant thousands of trees through the hands of children across southeast Iowa in the early 1990s.

After graduating from MIU with a degree in computer science, Vikas joined Vincent’s software company and worked there for 11 years. During his tenure, they formed an endearing mentor-mentee relationship that was often coined by other colleagues as “V2V”.

Years later, after going their separate ways, Vincent and Vikas have rejoined forces to touch the lives of millions of children with trees.

Vincent’s incredible generosity and commitment to our kids and planet continues to inspire and humble us.

To contribute to The Vincent Argiro / Neighborhood Forest Free Tree Matching campaign please visit: https://lnkd.in/gfwR4es

Neighborhood Forest in Cahoots with Cahoot!

April 20, 2021

Neighborhood Forest has formed a strategic partnership with Cahoot, an e-commerce fulfillment network that has been recognized by Fast Company as one of the world’s most innovative logistics companies.

Neighborhood Forest loves planting trees and watching them grow. An average American family creates an annual carbon footprint equivalent to what 75 trees sequester in their lifetime. According to GlobeNewsWire, the global average of each human’s carbon emissions per year is 6 TONS of Carbon Dioxide. SIX. TONS. Planting SIX trees per month (72/year) is enough to balance out that six tons per year. Neighborhood Forest helps offset that carbon footprint by introducing tens of thousands of children to the joy of growing trees every year. It has provided over 50,000 trees to over 400 schools, libraries, and youth groups since its inception in 2010.

Neighborhood Forest experienced a record amount of tree sign-ups this year, significantly outpacing our normal capacity to fulfill orders in time for Earth Day 2021. We needed an immediate solution that aligned with our mission to help the planet. With some research, luck, and serendipity, we found Cahoot – the world’s first peer-to-peer e-commerce fulfillment network! With its collaborative “Power of Many” business model, merchants store inventory and fulfill orders for each other on the Cahoot network.

Cahoot’s revolutionary technology and business methods cut down the distance packages need to travel. By intelligently placing inventory closer to customers – businesses and non-profit organizations can deliver goods quickly using sustainable ground shipping rather than air freight. This made Cahoot the perfect fulfillment partner for Neighborhood Forest. Cahoot provided the essential additional storage and fulfillment services required to deliver thousands of 6-12” White Pine trees to kids throughout the U.S. in time for this Earth Day (April 22).

According to Cahoot Founder and CEO Manish Chowdhary, “At its heart, Cahoot makes e-commerce and shipping greener. Ground shipping produces 85% less CO2 emissions and costs up to 50% less than air cargo. It’s a win-win for the planet, the merchant, and the end-consumer whenever we optimize an order! Our partnership with Neighborhood Forest is a no-brainer because we believe in a greener world while making green!”

“We are thrilled to partner with Cahoot. Together, we’re enabling even more families across the US to make the world greener with the additional fulfillment capabilities that Cahoot brings. Best of all, we’re doing it affordably and sustainably with ground shipping. Coincidentally, there is even a mention of the word “Cahoots” in the popular “I Love Trees” song written and sung by Katie Strand in honor of trees, Neighborhood Forest, and Earth Day,” said Vikas Narula, Founder of Neighborhood Forest.

‘Trees talk through their roots, interconnected they’re in cahoots!’

“Now, we’re in cahoots with Cahoot – it’s so perfect”, said Vikas.

Due to the overwhelming demand for trees, Neighborhood Forest has stopped taking tree orders for this coming Earth Day. However, they welcome others to join their carbon-neutral family with sponsorships and donations of any size at http://www.neighborhoodforest.org/our-sponsors or support the GoFundMe campaign at https://www.gofundme.com/f/neighborhood-forest

ABOUT CAHOOT
Cahoot is the world’s first peer-to-peer eCommerce fulfillment network that helps online businesses offer nationwide 1-day and 2-day deliveries. Cahoot offers drastically lower fulfillment fees because it enables merchants to store and ship the merchandise for each other. This novel business model also allows merchants to make extra money using their existing warehouse space and personnel. Visit http://www.cahoot.ai or LinkedIn

ABOUT NEIGHBORHOOD FOREST
Neighborhood Forest was founded in 2010 by Vikas Narula. When he was a college student in the early 1990s at Maharishi International University (Fairfield, Iowa), he learned of a free tree project started by David Kidd of Ohio. Vikas and his college friends adopted the program and gave away tens of thousands of trees to schoolchildren across southeast Iowa. What began, in 2010, with four schools in Minneapolis has grown to over 400 schools, libraries, and youth groups in 35 states across America and Canada. Neighborhood Forest’s goal is to reach every child in North America and, eventually, the world.

Your trees are coming!

April 12, 2021

Dear Grandparents, Parents, Guardians, Teachers, Volunteers, Coordinators, Students, and Children,

Your trees are coming soon – sometime next week (hopefully before or on Earth Day – April 22nd)!  Your school, library, or youth group leader will be in touch with you.

This message contains important information about your new tree, including planting instructions and species information.

First, I want you to know that you are one of 18,500 people that will be planting trees for Earth Week. You are part of one of the largest coordinated, volunteer, urban / residential tree planting projects in America!

This year has been special for us. In late February, our program went viral among librarians.  We had a 20x surge in interest in our program from last year and a record 3x growth in the number of trees we are giving away.

We are thrilled that you are participating!

We would love for you to share a photo of your newly planted tree with your child(ren) on our Facebook page (or you can email us directly). We love collecting “then and nows” of the kids with their trees.

Our program is funded by a growing community of generous sponsors.

If you or someone you know would like to be a sponsor of our program, please let us know.

Since we had such an unexpected increase in demand for trees, we found ourselves in a bit of a funding gap. One of our friends decided to help us by starting this lovely GoFundMe campaign.

Check out her cool video and song, “I Love Trees!”

If you know anyone who might like to contribute to our program, feel free to spread the word!

We are giving away 7 different species of trees in 35 states this year:

Coast Live Oak
(California)

Eldarica Pine
(New Mexico and Texas)

Hackberry 
(Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, parts of Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Tennessee)

Loblolly Pine 
(Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, parts of North Carolina, South Carolina)

Virginia Pine 
(Parts of North Carolina, Virginia)

White Pine 
(Connecticut, Massachusetts, parts of Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island)

White Spruce 
(Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming)

These are all beautiful trees!

Please click here to learn more about your tree.

Please click here to see planting instructions for both evergreen and deciduous variety.

Some key points to keep in mind:

1) Keep your tree in a cool, dark place (refrigerated for those in northern states) until you plant it

2) Protect your newly planted tree from wildlife and lawnmowers with a little fence and netting

3) Put some mulch around it

4) Water generously or in accordance with recommendations for your particular tree species

5) Please take a picture of your child(ren) with your newly planted tree (and share on our Facebook page, if you are comfortable) – watching your tree and kids grow together is a magical joy!

Finally, I want to say that these trees are small and vulnerable.  Not all of them survive and that is Ok.  It is a part of life and a part of the tree planting process. We do our part and then we have to leave the rest to Mother Nature. A lost tree seedling might break your child’s heart and there is a great lesson in this too. We mustn’t give up! We will keep sending you trees each year and we will keep on planting them.

I had to plant many trees before this one finally made it and reached maturity!

One of my favorite lessons around this is from Tyler Perry. He has great wisdom, which not only relates to planting trees but all aspects of life.

Thank you, again, for participating in Neighborhood Forest’s 12th annual free tree giveaway.  We are excited to see all the smiling faces with their little trees!

Happy Earth Day, Happy Arbor Day, Happy Earth Week, and Happy Spring!

Warmly,
Vikas

____________________________

Vikas Narula
Founder
Neighborhood Forest
5244 Zenith Ave. South
Minneapolis, MN 55410
www.neighborhoodforest.org

2021 Tree Species Details

Coast Live Oak

(California)

The Coast Live Oak is a beautiful evergreen oak native to California. It is drought-resistant and can reach a height of 25-82 ft tall. Some trees have been recorded to live longer than 250 years! Oaks attract a variety of birds and butterflies.

A great many birds, mammals, reptiles, and invertebrates utilize oak trees and oak woodlands, and they’re among the most important wildlife plants.

Many butterflies use Oaks as a host plant, including California Sister, Propertius Duskywing, Golden Hairstreak, and others.

This tree is relatively easy to care for. It does best in full sun or part shade, low moisture, medium soil drainage, and only needs summer irrigation one time per month (max) once established.

Oaks provide tremendous benefits for all. They provide homes to wildlife, feed pollinators, clean and recharge groundwater, provide a playground for kids, and cool shade for all.

Source: Calscape.org

Eldarica Pine

(New Mexico, Texas)

The Eldarica pine is a tree with strong, wide-spaced branches.  It gives off a mild, fresh fragrance and has stiff, long, dark green needles at maturity.

It tolerates heat, wind, and dry conditions very well, and can also thrive in colder climates.

The Eldarica pine grows to a height of 30–60 feet and a spread of 25–40 feet at maturity. This tree grows at a medium rate, with height increases of 13–24 inches per year.

Full sun is the ideal condition for this tree, meaning it should get at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

An Eldarica pine windbreak makes valuable cover, nesting, and breeding areas for songbirds.

Source: Arbor Day Foundation

Hackberry

(Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, parts of Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Tennessee)

The hackberry is commonly heralded by tree experts as “one tough tree.” Found on a wide range of soils east of the Rockies from southern Canada to Florida, these trees thrive in a broad span of temperatures and on sites that vary from 14 to 60″ of annual rainfall. They can even stand up to strong winds and tolerate air pollution.  

The hackberry grows well in a variety of soils.  It has some tolerance for both flooding and drought.

All of this hardiness adds up to a good landscape choice, particularly if you’re looking for an energy-conserving shade tree that doesn’t require watering.

The hackberry grows to a height of 40–60 feet and a spread of 40–60 feet at maturity. This tree grows at a medium to fast rate, with height increases of anywhere from 13 inches to more than 24 inches per year.

Hackberry
Hackberry seedlings - Celtis occidentalis - Chief River Nursery - Chief  River Nursery

Full sun is the ideal condition for this tree, meaning it should get at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

The hackberry forms characteristic corky ridges and warts on trunk and branches and tolerates strong winds, pollution, heat, drought, and salt.  

It has a growth pattern that resembles the elm – without the susceptibility to disease.

The fruit of the hackberry is popular with winter birds, especially the cedar waxwing, mockingbird and robin. The tree also attracts many butterfly species including American snout, hackberry, mourning cloak, and tawny emperor.

Source: Arbor Day Foundation

Loblolly Pine

(Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, parts of North Carolina, South Carolina)

The loblolly pine is one of the fastest-growing southern pines. This tree is used as a quick-screen in many landscapes. It grows in a wide variety of soils and is drought tolerant.

The loblolly pine grows to 60-100 feet in height with a 25-35 foot spread. It grows at a fast rate, with height increases of more than 24 inches per year.

Full sun is the ideal condition for this tree, meaning it should get at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

While it prefers normal moisture, the tree can tolerate some flooding and moderate drought.

Loblolly pines provide shelter and food for many southeastern animals, including birds such as Carolina chickadees, brown-headed nuthatches, rufous-sided towhees, northern bobwhites, and wild turkeys. The seeds are also consumed by chipmunks, squirrels, and other small rodents.

The loblolly is native to the east coast of North America from New Jersey to Florida and Texas. It has a long history with the pioneers and is very aromatic, thus sometimes known as “rosemary” pine.

Source: Arbor Day Foundation

Virginia Pine

(Parts of North Carolina, Virginia)

The Virginia pine is a medium-sized tree that can grow to a size range of 10–60 feet but can grow larger under optimum conditions. The trunk can be as large as 20 inches in diameter. This tree prefers well-drained soil or clay, but will also grow on very poor, sandy soil, where it remains small and stunted. The typical life span is 65 to 90 years.

Wholesale Virginia Pine Trees $3.75 - Tennessee Nursery

This pine is useful for reforesting and provides nourishment for wildlife. Virginia pine is a distinct pine in the United States and can be identified by a key characteristic; the relatively short needles are twisted and come in bunches of two. The needles are typically two to eight centimeters in length. 

Virginia pine trees inhabit dry forested areas. Unlike some other pines, Virginia pine produces cones in all parts of the canopy.

Source: Wikipedia

White Pine

(Connecticut, Massachusetts, parts of Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island)

The eastern white pine tree is one of the most valuable trees in North America. There is a whole one-hour movie about how this tree was instrumental to the birth of our country!

The white pine grows 50-80 feet tall with a 20-40 foot spread.

Managing eastern white pine forests | UMN Extension
GLT's Grow: White Pine Threat | WGLT

Eastern white pines have a long life, usually living to 200 years of age, with some trees living over 450 years!  Considered a fast-growing tree, it can reach up to a height of 100 feet and 42 inches in diameter at maturity.

The white pine’s graceful presence and long, evergreen needles give this tree a majestic look.

The trees grow best in fertile, moist, and well-drained soil with full sun. Sapling eastern white pines are tasty food for white-tailed deer and eastern cottontails, so if you have some in your area, it’s a good idea to protect the plant with a small fence / netting after planting!

Though the tree is an evergreen, the aromatic needles usually drop after two or three years after they turn yellow in early fall. Eastern white pine seeds are favored by black bears, rabbits, red squirrels, and many birds, especially red crossbills. White pines provide nesting sites as well for many birds including woodpeckers, common grackles, mourning doves, chickadees, and nuthatches.

Source: Arbor Day Foundation

White Spruce

(Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming)

The white spruce grows to a height of 40–60 feet and a spread of 10–20 feet at maturity. This tree grows at a medium rate, with height increases of 13–24 inches per year.

This tree thrives in a lot of sunlight – ideally six hours of direct sunlight per day. The white spruce grows well in a variety of different soils and has some drought tolerance.

The white spruce does well when transplanted. It can withstand wind, heat, cold, drought, crowding, and some shade. It does well in cities and often serves as rural windbreaks.

Aside from providing nesting for birds and shelter for other animals, white spruces provide food for many kinds of wildlife. Crossbills, evening grosbeaks, and red-breasted nuthatches feed on its seeds. The foliage is eaten by grouse, rabbits, and deer. Red squirrels bite open cones to eat the seeds, and they delight upon young, tender spruce shoots.

When Jacques Cartier sailed up the broad St. Lawrence River in 1535, he became the first European to see North America’s white spruces. As he laid claim to the lands he beheld, he proclaimed them to be “as beautiful…as one could wish for.” The trees, he said, were “the finest trees in the world.”

Source: Arbor Day Foundation