FreeTree Giveaway Program | BranchOut Group Buy Program
TREEducation Corner | Get Involved
Important: Cicada Emergence 2021
Please note that in May and June 2021, Ann Arbor is expected to see the re-emergence of Brood X of 17-year periodical cicadas. These native insects appear every 17 years and are harmless to humans and animals. However, they may damage smaller branches on hardwood trees, which can kill young seedlings. If possible, the City recommends that you postpone any tree plantings of hardwood species until fall 2021. There is evidence that conifer species, such as those being distributed in our FreeTree Giveaway event, are less prone to cicada damage and should be safe to plant. Please visit www.a2gov.org/cicada for more information, including on how you can protect your young trees from these insects. Please do not use chemicals to kill cicadas - these insects are native and an important part of our ecosystem.
On Saturday, April 24th at 2pm, we invite you to join the Leslie Science & Nature Center and the City of Ann Arbor to learn more about these fascinating insects, their life cycles, and their potential impacts on your trees at our Cicada 101 event on Zoom!
trees provide many environmental, economic, social, and health benefits to the
community, including: reducing stormwater runoff, improving water and air
quality, reducing neurotoxic exposures that can impair brain development in babies and young children, increasing biodiversity and resiliency against invasive species,
moderating summer temperatures, lowering utility costs, improving quality of
life, and beautifying the city. Our urban tree canopy is therefore crucial to
our resiliency and carbon neutrality work. A properly managed urban tree canopy can create a safer and healthier future for residents, especially for those who are most vulnerable. But an urban tree canopy doesn’t
just include the trees lining our streets, in our parks, and around our public
buildings. It’s also comprised of trees on private property, from single-family
homes and multi-family residential sites to private businesses and houses of
In recognition of this, the Office of Sustainability and Innovations
has developed the 10,000 Trees Initiative with the goal of planting 10,000 new
trees on private property in the city by the year 2030. The trees added by this initiative will enhance our current canopy cover and will help to make our urban tree canopy more resilient by increasing both species and structural diversity. On this page, you can
find information on the programs offered through this initiative and the ways
in which you can get involved and add trees to your property. More information on Ann Arbor’s urban tree canopy can be found on
the City’s Forestry web page.
FreeTree Giveaway Program
Through the 10,000 Trees Initiative's FreeTree program, you can receive free trees to plant on your private property! All trees distributed through this program are donated to or purchased by the City of Ann Arbor and are provided to residents at no cost. All you need to do is register for a FreeTree event near you and request your trees, show up at the distribution site on the day of the event, load the young trees in your vehicle, and take them home to plant! Delivery options are also available for those with mobility or access challenges. Tree care and planting information is provided with every tree. Below, you can find a list of upcoming FreeTree events. Don't see a FreeTree event near you? Contact Sean Reynolds at [email protected] to help organize one!
Arbor Day 2021 FreeTree Giveaway – Thank you for your interest in our FreeTree program - the response to this event was extraordinary, and every tree available for Arbor Day has been claimed! Registration is now closed. However, you can sign up for our FreeTree mailing list in order to stay up-to-date on upcoming FreeTree events!
All of the trees available for Arbor Day were donated by the Washtenaw County Conservation District and Brines Farm. There is evidence that the cicadas expected to emerge this spring should not impact the coniferous species being distributed through this event. Giveaways will take place across Arbor Day weekend – see below for a list of giveaway sites and dates.
BranchOut Group Buy Program
The BranchOut program offers a wide variety of trees delivered and planted by our 10,000 Trees Initiative partner nurseries and landscapers – all at discounted prices! Each BranchOut event is hosted by a resident interested in adding trees to their property. Working with the Urban Trees Initiative Coordinator, this resident brings together neighbors, friends, co-workers, and others for a virtual BranchOut meeting. At this meeting, staff from OSI and the partner nursery will discuss the benefits of trees and proper tree care, answer any questions, and support attendees with purchasing trees at discounted rates. Each BranchOut event will have a different selection of available species, as well as a set planting date. After the meeting, anyone interested in purchasing trees at a discounted rate will be able to work directly with the nursery to choose their species and arrange planting details. On the planting date, the nursery will deliver and plant your trees for you! If you are interested in hosting a BranchOut event, please email Sean Reynolds at [email protected]. Or, join an existing event from the list below!
We will begin holding BranchOut events in early summer 2021, with fall 2021 planting dates!
Workshops. We are currently developing a series of tree-related workshops covering everything from tree ID to tree care! Check back regularly for updates or subscribe to our A2ZERO newsletter to stay connected.
Tree Info Cards. Every tree planted through the 10,000 Trees Initiative comes with an informational card specific to that tree species! Below you can find some of these cards. As we add more species to our list of available trees, this page will be updated with the cards for those species.
Virtual Tree Tour. Get to meet some of Ann Arbor's tree species through our virtual tree tour. Simply click a tree on the map to bring up a link where you can explore the tree from different angles! And check out the video below for a guided version of the tour, led by our Urban Trees Initiative Coordinator.
Trees of Ann Arbor. Managing our city’s urban tree canopy properly relies on knowing what trees we have. You can help us inventory our city’s trees by joining our Trees of Ann Arbor project on iNaturalist! iNaturalist is a phone application that can be used to make observations of the natural world around you – from recordings of bird songs to pictures of trees and wildlife. It’s also a great tool for learning to ID these natural wonders – if you don’t know what something is, simply submit an observation and the online community of naturalists will be able to identify it for you! To learn more about how to download and use the iNaturalist app and join the Trees of Ann Arbor project, check out this presentation: Using iNaturalist.pdf.
We will be holding a Trees of Ann Arbor bioblitz from April 25th - May 2nd! During this week, we encourage you to get outside and use iNaturalist to make observations of as many trees in the City as you can. This will help us in our efforts to inventory our urban tree canopy! And, from April 30th - May 3rd, every observation you submit through iNaturalist will count towards Ann Arbor's participation in the City Nature Challenge, an event coordinated by the University of Michigan's Museum of Natural History. You can also learn how to use iNaturalist and about the City Nature Challenge by registering for the Kick-Off Event on April 24th, from 10am-12pm.
Cicadas are coming. Did you know that this spring we will see the emergence of a brood of 17-year cicadas? The life-cycle of these insects is inextricably tied to trees, and this event may impact young trees in the area. More information is available at www.a2gov.org/cicada! There will be an educational seminar about the cicada emergence on Saturday, April 24th from 2-3pm, presented by the Leslie Science & Nature Center. You can join this event here.
Other Ways to Get Involved
Coming soon. We are currently developing more programs through the 10,000 Trees Initiative, including volunteer community tree plantings! Check back regularly for updates or subscribe to our A2ZERO newsletter to stay engaged.
Volunteer. We are currently recruiting volunteers to help run our FreeTree giveaway events – if you are interested in volunteering, please email Sean Reynolds at [email protected].org.
Interested in helping to take care of our city's public trees and parks? Check out the Citizen Pruner Program and the Natural Area Preservation volunteer program.
Donate. Trees provide the most benefits where they're needed most – on properties with low canopy cover. Unfortunately, adding trees to private property creates a short-term financial burden on the property owner. This means that those who live where trees are needed most often cannot afford the trees they need. To help alleviate the financial burden of purchasing a tree, the 10,000 Trees Initiative is proud to offer a Branch Out, Pay it Forward fund. This fund will be supported entirely by charitable donations and will be used to pay for the inclusion of low-income households in the BranchOut program, allowing for these households to receive trees, planting, and maintenance for free. If you are interested in donating to this fund, or would like to be considered as a recipient of a Pay it Forward tree, please contact Sean Reynolds at [email protected].
If you have any questions related to the 10,000 Trees Initiative, please reach out to Sean Reynolds at [email protected] or 734-794-6000, ext. 43737.