Apply for Free Native Tree Seedlings

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) provides free native tree seedlings to NWF partners who in turn plant them through local restoration projects or community tree giveaway events. Tree giveaway events typically involve distributing seedlings to individuals (often students) that will plant the trees and care for them at home.  

NWF partners must have a plan to care for the trees after planting. NWF partners include NWF Affiliates, Eco-Schools, Schoolyard Habitats and Community Wildlife Habitats. Through this effort, NWF and its partners are creating wildlife habitat, connecting people (especially kids) with nature and educating students and citizens about the critical role trees play in our communities for both wildlife and humans.

Trees for Wildlife guidelines for fall 2017 plantings will be available this summer.

Applications are no longer being accepted on a rolling basis. The deadline for spring 2017 applications was February 10, 2017 - we are not accepting applications at this time. Our application and guidelines will be posted this summer for those interested in fall 2017 events. If you have any questions, please email us at

NWF has a Tree Planting and Tree Care Guide that will help you figure out how to (1) plan your event, (2) run a successful event, and (3) care for the trees after the event. 

Plan Your Event:

  • Where to Plant - assessing your tree planting site (Tree Guide, page 6)
  • What to Plant - identifying what type of native trees are best for your site (Tree Guide, page 14) - we also recommend consulting with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, where you can look up native trees by zip code.
  • When to Plant - determining the best time of year to plant (Tree Guide, page 10)

Need inspiration from completed projects? Get ideas from these tree planting event summaries from 2015.

Resources for Approved Projects

Here you will find several resources for your tree planting or giveaway event.

Hosting an Event and Planting Your Trees:
  • How To Plant a Bare Root Tree Seedling (Tree Guide, page 16)
  • Tell the Press About Your Event
  • Share Photos on Social Media, Including Our Flickr Page
Caring for Trees:
  • Watering, Mulching, Tree Shelters (Tree Guide, page 16)
  • Tree Care Tips (Tree Guide, page 18)
  • Tree Care Calendar
Tree planting events are the perfect opportunity to engage children and youth in environmental education lessons and activities.
Resources for Tree Giveaway Events:


Helping Wildlife Helps Trees
Great Horned Owl 

Symbolically adopting wildlife helps support our Trees for Wildlife Program

Learn more about the wildlife that rely on trees >>