2022 Arbor Day Seedling Giveaway

Sign up to receive FREE tree seedlings from the City of Novi

You can help the City of Novi celebrate Arbor Day and enhance your landscape by signing up to receive free tree and shrub seedlings as part of Novi’s seedling giveaway.

Ten species native to Michigan are available, including large shade trees, trees and shrubs with beautiful flower blooms or fall color, evergreen trees, and species that can feed both wildlife and humans.

To receive one or more seedlings, you’ll need to include some basic information, describe the characteristics of the planting site(s), and choose the right species for your site(s). Seedlings will be ordered and distributed at an outdoor, socially-distanced site this spring.

Further instructions on picking up seedlings and how they should be planted and cared for will be provided after sign-up. It is vital that the trees be planted within 48 hours of receipt and that they not be planted anywhere they are likely to conflict with utilities or infrastructure.

Seedlings can be reserved until 5 p.m. Friday, March 11 and will be distributed in front of Novi’s Civic Center from 3 – 7 p.m. on Friday, April 22, which is Earth Day.

Click here to reserve seedlings!

Hover over the info button on each picture below for a link to more details on the species’ characteristics.

Planting Instructions

Step 1 — Matching species to site

Select a planting site that will accommodate your trees’ expected height and spread at maturity. It’s important to consider potential conflicts both above and below ground, like utilities, other trees, etc.  

Step 2 — Preparing materials

Unpack your trees, remove all packing materials, carefully untangle the roots, and soak the roots in water for 3 – 6 hours (but not for longer than 24 hours). The trees have been held in dormancy, so if they can’t be planted the same day they’re picked up, they should be stored in a cool, dark location. The longer they remain unplanted, the less likely they are to survive.

Step 3 — Digging the hole

Dig a hole, wider than seems necessary, so the roots can grow outward without crowding. Remove any grass within a 3-foot circular area. To aid root growth, loosen soil in an area up to 3 feet in diameter.

Step 4 — Planting

Plant the tree at the same depth it stood in the nursery. It’s very important that the tree not be buried too deep, as it will cause the trunk to rot. Partially fill the hole, gently firming the soil around the lower roots. Do not add soil amendments such as peat or bark and do not use fertilizer, potting soil, or chemicals on your new trees. Shovel in the remaining soil so that it’s firmly, but not tightly, packed.

Step 5 — Post-planting care

Give the tree plenty of water. After the water has soaked in, spread protective mulch two inches deep in a 3-foot diameter area around the base of the tree. Ensure mulch is not touching the trunk, as that could cause rot. The soil and mulch around your trees should be kept moist but not soggy. During dry weather, generously water the tree every 7 – 10 days during the first year. A lawn irrigation system alone is generally not sufficient for delivering water to tree roots. Slow, deep watering throughout the root zone is much better for trees. We also recommend putting protective fencing (such as chicken wire) around your trees if your site is a feeding ground for rabbits, deer, or other wildlife.

You can find an instructional video from ReLeaf Michigan breaking down these planting steps by clicking the button below.

“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

MI Asian Staff
Author: MI Asian Staff