About Trees for Wildlifeâ„¢

Tree sapling in grassy field

About the Program

For over 80 years, the National Wildlife Federation has been a leader in conservation and environmental education, shaping the future of stewardship for the Earth in the United States. Through our educational programs, publications, and multimedia outreach, the National Wildlife Federation is dedicated to three objectives:

  1. Connecting people with nature
  2. Safeguarding wildlife and wild places, and
  3. Providing solutions to climate change.

The National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) Trees for Wildlife™ supports healthy, sustainable, wildlife-friendly communities by providing free or subsidized native tree seedlings to partners across the country who plant them through local habitat restoration projects or distribute them at community tree giveaway events. Over the last decade, NWF and its partners have brought communities together to plant and care for more than 500,000 native trees which provide community benefits, connect people with nature, and create wildlife habitat.

Why Native Trees?

Native plants (including trees) occur naturally (not introduced by humans) in a given region. Over thousands of years, native plants have evolved together with native wildlife to form relationships that are mutually beneficial and interdependent. Wildlife such as birds, butterflies and bees, rely on sometimes very specific native plants for food and a place to raise their young–without these, wildlife species can go extinct. It is important to consider that what is native in one location is not native everywhere, and that when planting trees, you can provide the most benefit for native wildlife by selecting native tree species. Learn more about native plants at NWF.org/NativePlants.

Two Types of Trees for Wildlife™ Events

Youth and adults planting trees


Planting Events

Trees for Wildlife™ Planting Events result in 100 or more trees to be planted in one location, often a school, park, place of worship or other public property. Partners receive free or subsidized tree seedlings from the National Wildlife Federation and organize volunteers or staff to prepare the site, plant the trees, and ensure they are cared for. They may incorporate an educational workshop or learning activities for youth.

Giveaway Events

Trees for Wildlife™ Giveaway Events support local partners by distributing 100 or more native trees to be planted by individuals either at their home or another suitable location. Partners receive free or subsidized tree seedlings from the National Wildlife Federation and are required to provide an educational component at their event (such as a planting demonstration) and share “take home guidance” to ensure they are properly planted and cared for.

Kids smiling and standing behind table with plants on it


The Benefit of Trees for Wildlife™ Events for Your Community

Trees for Wildlife™ Tree Planting and Tree Giveaway Events bring communities together! Throughout the U.S., these events encourage people to plant native trees in areas that will make a difference. These areas include school grounds, urban neighborhoods, stream corridors and home landscapes and gardens. As a coordinated effort that is set up for success, each of these events promotes community pride and care for the environment.

Give a Gift, Plant a Tree

Support the Trees for Wildlife™ program and protect wildlife one tree at a time!

Select purchases made from the National Wildlife Federation's catalog support our work to help communities learn about, plant, and care for trees. Provide essential habitat for songbirds, tree frogs, and other wildlife species by sending a gift today.

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Where We Work

More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. The National Wildlife Federation is on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 53 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

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