Donate Seedlings

Some of our trees come from volunteer seedlings, or trees that germinate in our gardens and yards. Instead of mowing or pulling these, we transplant them to a nursery pot and grow them there for some time. This provides us with a free source of local, native trees. They are also more likely to survive and thrive in our area because they may possess genetics that are better adapted here, as opposed to coming from faraway nurseries.

How to Transplant a Seedling

1. Identify Your Tree Seedling

We’ll need to identify your seedling or sapling to make sure it’s not an invasive species. If you need help identifying, see below!

2. Obtain a Nursery Pot

Prepare a nursery pot (with holes) that is large enough for your seedling. Fill about 1/4 of the pot with soil before digging your seedling.

3. Dig Your Seedling

Carefully dig out your seedling, preserving as much of the root structure as possible, and minimizing root exposure to the air.

4. Fill Nursery Pot

Place your seedling into the nursery pot and fill with soil to cover the roots. Gently tamp down the soil to minimize air pockets.

5. Water!

Have a watering can or hose ready. Give your seedling plenty of water to wet all roots and soil. This helps reduce the stress of transplanting.

6. Good to go!

Set your tree in the shade if transplanted on a hot summer day. Water each day.

If you need nursery pots, let us know by sending an email to! We can provide pots of various sizes.

We seek native seedlings and saplings of the species listed below. If the species is not listed, we may still take them as long as they are not an invasive species. If you are unsure of the kind of tree you have found, snap a photo and send it to us at so we can try to help you identify it.

  • Quercus (Oaks)
  • Acer (Maples)
  • American Sweetgum
  • Tulip Tree
  • Eastern Redbud
  • Eastern Red Cedar
  • Honeylocust
  • Black Locust
  • Prunus
    • chokecherry
    • pin cherry
  • Salix (willow)
  • Betula (birch)
    • river birch
  • American elm
  • Dawn Redwood

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