Our Tree Planting Process

Louisville Grows organizes numerous planting events during each tree-planting season, from November through April. However, much of the work is done before the actual planting day!

Before the big event:

Louisville Grows organizes numerous neighborhood tree planting events during each tree-planting season in the spring and fall. Our goal for every tree planting event is to ensure a high quality experience for our volunteers!

Louisville Grows is unique in the fact that we focus on planting trees on residential property. Because of this, a lot of work goes into preparing and organizing a Louisville Grows neighborhood tree planting. We begin several months in advance by initially meeting with the neighborhood group to discuss their involvement and establish dates and meeting locations. Then, our volunteer coordinator organizes Citizen Foresters, community members, and volunteers in a door-to-door canvassing of the neighborhood seeking treecipients.  The canvassing allows us to interact directly with residents of the neighborhood. We advocate for trees at that time, explaining their importance and how they would benefit from becoming a treecipient. Once someone agrees to accept and care for a tree planted on their property, we discuss the location, type of tree and have them sign an agreement stating they will care for and water the tree properly. Louisville Grows’ urban forestry program offers homeowners and renters (with permission) one to three trees at no cost planted by our Citizen Foresters and volunteers.

After the treecipients are found, an order is placed through our tree broker with local tree farms. Trees are delivered one week prior to the planting day. Staff and volunteers welcome the trees and stage them for delivery to their new homes. It takes several days to deliver the trees to each individual property along with a load of mulch and watering bag. This process is critical to ensure that we can get 150 trees on the average into the ground on one day with our volunteers.

Planting Day:

On the morning of planting day, the Louisville Grows’ team arrives early to prepare for the day. Registration opens at 8AM for our volunteers and trained Citizen Foresters who will lead the teams in various planting zones. Louisville Grows offers a light breakfast, juice and coffee to start the day and make sure volunteers are sent out nourished and ready to plant. Our executive director greets everyone before huddles are formed and the planting begins.

Once on site with the trees, Citizen Foresters perform a planting demonstration for the group of volunteers in each zone. Then the fun starts and we begin to dig in the dirt. Community foresters are on hand to help resolve any situations or answer any questions that might arise during the plantings.The goal of each team is to finish planting their zone before heading back for lunch.

Louisville Grows serves a hearty lunch for our volunteers. We are so grateful for their  assistance and couldn’t grow greener healthier neighborhoods without their support.

We encourage volunteers wear clothing appropriate for the weather and close-toed shoes and bring a water bottle. Louisville Grows will provide gloves.

Previous plantings have taken place in the California, Beechmont, Russell, Shelby Park, Germantown, Smoketown, Shawnee, Chickasaw, Smoketown, Portland, Schnitzelburg and Phoenix Hill neighborhoods.

Tree Giveaways

Several times a year, Louisville Grows hosts a public tree giveaway with various partners at different locations throughout Louisville. During the giveaways, people can receive one to three trees, depending on how many trees we have been supplied. The trees are native species planted in three  gallon containers.

All tree giveaways are posted on our website, social media platforms and newsletter. Trees are available to everyone on a  first come, first serve basis. Quantities are limited and not guaranteed.

Louisville Grows aims to provide resources and capacity to work with a community, not just in a community. Planning a tree-planting event with a community takes months of hard work, and consists of five steps:

Get Involved

Want to get involved with our tree plantings? Check the Volunteer and Events Calendar in the spring and fall to help us in reforesting the urban tree canopy!