Tree Seedling Giveaways: Species Information and Planting Instructions


Did you stop by one of our tree seedling giveaways this Arbor Day? Check out the species information, from our friends at the Arbor Day Foundation, below for more information about your new tree!

“The bur oak is a mighty sight to behold. A coarsely textured crown, wild and wooly acorns and a massive trunk with rough and deeply furrowed bark combine to make one impressive tree. But really, those characteristics helped this oak survive the elements of its wide-reaching natural range. In fact, the natural bur oak range is the northern- and western- most of all the eastern oak species.” –Arbor Day Foundation

“The Black Hills spruce is the state tree of South Dakota, and for good reason. This variety of the more widespread white spruce is found naturally only in southwest South Dakota and a small portion of northeast Wyoming. In fact, it is the only spruce native to the Black Hills region. While not as widely known as other spruces, one tree expert claims that it is “ornamentally superior to the standard white spruce” and can be planted just about anywhere that the more common Colorado spruce will grow.” –Arbor Day Foundation

“One can argue about whether the “tulips” are the outline of its leaves or its cup-shaped flowers. But both undoubtedly contributed to the fanciful name given to this tree by early settlers. And the tuliptree is still beloved for its beauty today, serving as the state tree of Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee. It is the tallest of the eastern hardwoods—and a rapid grower when conditions are right. If you’re looking for a stunning tree that grows quickly and doesn’t suffer from many pest problems, your search is over.” –Arbor Day Foundation

“An excellent landscape choice for all four seasons, the White Dogwood is a favorite in many yards and gardens. White “flowers” show their beauty in spring, foliage turns a vibrant red-purple in fall and glossy red fruits attract winter songbirds for the enjoyment of all. This tree is a great option to plant near utility lines, next to larger buildings or near patios. It also offers nice contrast when planted along with Pink or Red Dogwoods with larger evergreens in the background.” –Arbor Day Foundation

“Long ago, naturalist Donald Peattie recognized the beauty and adaptability of the white fir and accurately predicted that its future “lies in its value as an ornamental.” Its shape, color and ability to thrive on harsh sites has made the tree a favorite for urban landscaping. It has also become a major component of the Christmas tree industry.” –Arbor Day Foundation

“The eastern white pine has played a very important role throughout the history of America. In colonial days, the best of the trees were set apart by the king for masts on British ships. As the nation grew, the lumber of white pines built our homes and businesses. Today it is still a valuable commercial tree but also favored in parks and spacious yards—both for its beauty and its fast growth. It has also been named the state tree of both Maine and Michigan.” –Arbor Day Foundation

“This tree has often been heralded as a beautiful tree, whether lining the banks of a North Country river or gracing someone’s front yard. But the white spruce is more than just a pretty face. Commercially it, it is a mainstay of the pulp and paper industry and well-used for construction lumber. In landscape, it is a lovely specimen tree or grouping, a sturdy option for windbreaks and buffer strips, and serves as a great visual screen.” –Arbor Day Foundation



It is very important to keep your new tree moist and to plant it as soon as possible.

  1. Before you plant, pick an ideal location. Thing about how large your tree will grow and how close it may be to your house, sidewalk or utilities.
  2. Dig a hole wide and deep enough to easily fit all of the roots without bending or forcing them into place (which is very harmful to trees). Make sure only the roots go below ground and that the trunk and root flare are above ground!
  3. Using your hands, gently firm the soil back around the roots making sure not to overly compact the soil.
  4. Add leaf compost and/or natural mulch around the base of your tree and extending out a few inches further than the branches. Do not pile the mulch up the trunk like a volcano!
  5. Most importantly, make sure to water your new tree every week during the growing season so the roots stay moist. Doing this until the tree is established, will help ensure it survives and grows.


A growing body of research and documentation validates the critical role that a robust urban tree canopy plays in providing residents with an environment that contributes to their health and economic well-being as well as helping to meet the many environmental and ecological challenges that impact their daily lives.

Cleveland was once nicknamed The Forest City, but the city has lost significant canopy. Tree canopy cover is low at 19%, only one quarter of what is possible. Each year an estimated 97 acres of tree canopy is lost. At this rate, canopy will drop to 14% by 2040 unless we act now. It is time to rebuild the urban forest, together.

The Cleveland Tree Plan is a community-wide collaboration to rebuild the urban forest through partnership. Stakeholders have assessed Cleveland’s urban forest and are now determining a unified vision and plan of action to reforest the Forest City.

Western Reserve Land Conservancy is a proud member of the Cleveland Tree Coalition, a collaborative group of public, private and community stakeholders that have partnered with the City of Cleveland to rebuild our urban forest. Stakeholders are working collaboratively to achieve the goals established by the Cleveland Tree Plan. Together, we’re making Cleveland the Forest City once again!

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