Ann Arbor starts planting 10,000 trees with free Arbor Day giveaways

Residents encouraged to plants free trees on private property, increase urban canopy

In this photo taken early January 2020, and provided Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, a Wollemi pine tree sapling grows on the forest floor in the Wollemi National Park, New South Wales, Australia. Specialist firefighters have saved the world's last remaining wild stand of a prehistoric tree from wildfires that razed forests west of Sydney. (NSW National Parks and Wildfire Service via AP) (Uncredited)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Nicknamed Tree Town, Ann Arbor is known for its green spaces and, of course, its trees.

From April 30 to May 2, the City of Ann Arbor is giving away free trees to residents to plant on private property during several Arbor Day weekend giveaway events.

Developed by the City of Ann Arbor Office of Sustainability and Innovations, the giveaways are part of the city’s 10,000 Trees Initiative, which recognizes the importance of the city’s urban tree canopy.

The initiative has a goal of planting 10,000 new trees on private property by 2030 the city said and is part of the A2Zero carbon neutrality plan.

Residents can help increase canopy cover around the city and improve canopy resilience by planting trees on their properties.

Register for free trees this using this form by April 26.

On the day of the giveaway, community members will need to pick up their trees from the site and load them into their vehicles. Delivery options are available for those with mobility or access challenges, the city said.

Care and planting information is provided along with the young trees.

Trees available through the initiative have been donated to or bought by the City of Ann Arbor. The young trees available during the Arbor Day weekend events were donated by the Washtenaw County Conservation District and Brines Farm, the city said.

Here’s where to pick up trees:

  • Bryant Community Center - Friday, April 30, from 4-7 p.m
  • Peace Neighborhood Center - Saturday, May 1, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • UM Campus Farm/Matthaei Botanical Gardens - Saturday, May 1, from 4-7 p.m.
  • Forestbrooke Athletic Club - Sunday, May 2, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Leslie Science & Nature Center - Sunday, May 2, from 4-7 p.m.

Currently, Norway spruce trees will be available during the giveaways.

Coniferous species, like those being given away, are less likely to be damaged by the emergence of Brood X cicada in May and June, the city said.

Read: Ann Arbor gets ready for Brood X cicada

Residents wanting additional trees can participate in the BranchOut Group Buy Program, which offers discounted trees to residents from 10,000 Trees Initiative partner nurseries and landscapers. Participants hosting a BranchOut event will be joined by city staff and a partner nursery to discuss tree care and answer questions.

Those interested in hosting a BranchOut event, should email Urban Trees Initiative Coordinator Sean Reynolds at

Learn more about the 10,000 Trees Initiative, free tree giveaways and BranchOut Group Buy Program here.

About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.