FREE TREE PROGRAM
Heartland Tree Alliance wants to plant trees in your neighborhood!
Contact us to reserve your tree! We ask that you complete our online reservation form above or email us your contact information including name, address and phone number. There are a limited number of free trees available. First come, first served.
In KCMO: Shortly after you contact us, we will conduct an onsite inspection to confirm there is viable space and no other conflicts. If the proposed planting site meets KCMO’s criteria, we will ask you to sign a simple pledge form to agree to water the tree weekly for the first two years after planting.
In Merriam: We will reach out to discuss your application. Our staff is experienced in species and site selection and can assist you in making this decision.
Review our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below to familiarize yourself with the program.
• Mature trees shade the street and sidewalk cooling pavement and air temperatures
• Trees planted along the street have been shown to slow traffic speeds
• Neighborhoods with mature trees show a reduction in crime rates
• Mature trees can increase property value as high as 20%
• Mature trees filter air pollutants and reduce pulmonary health cases such as asthma
• Leaves on trees catch rain and reduce the amount of stormwater runoff during big rain events
FREE! Besides the minimal cost of water over the next two years, your tree is free.
For KCMO: Kansas City Parks and Recreation has funded this program. Trees must be planted within the public right-of-way. This is the area either between the sidewalk and the street or within approximately 10-15 feet of the street. Each tree can differ and must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
For Merriam: Trees must be planted in your front yard – sorry no backyards allowed. Heartland Tree Alliance staff will work with you to make sure the tree is planted exactly where you want it. The City of Merriam has funded this program.
For KCMO: Heartland Tree Alliance staff and our trained volunteers will plant your tree. It is also our goal to have members of the neighborhood come out to help us plant the trees. Anyone is welcome to participate but must complete our online volunteer registration form to be eligible.
For Merriam: Heartland Tree Alliance staff will plant your tree for you! If you’re home and want to participate feel free to come outside and join the team to learn more about proper planting practices. We will work with you to select a location where your new tree will thrive.
For KCMO: Heartland Tree Alliance takes great care to train our volunteer workforce prior to performing the work. The morning of the workday, a planting demonstration will be performed with all volunteers present. We will also have veteran volunteers, who have completed our 18-hr Tree Keeper course that will be at each event to ensure that proper planting techniques are followed throughout the entire workday.
For Merriam: Yes! Heartland Tree Alliance takes great care to ensure that proper planting techniques are followed. Staff are well trained and have lots of experience planting trees and helping you select the best location for your tree.
For KCMO: Sometimes! If you sign up far enough in advance and we are able to get ahold of you, we may ask you your preference of tree species from a short list. If it is later in the planting season and our inventory is limited, we may have to choose for you. Luckily, our program manager is a certified arborist with experience in species selection. All species of trees have also been approved by a forester with Kansas City, Missouri. Species diversity is critical for mass plantings such as these, so great care will go into making sure there is a variety. Species have been chosen for their resiliency to poor urban conditions. Trees selected will not have messy fruit or other nuisance issues. Once your tree has been planted, we will leave behind a flyer on your door with the species of tree that has been planted as well as watering instructions.
For Merriam: Yes! We will work with you to plant either your first or second choice of tree, if available and the site conditions allow. We know not every yard has room for a large shade tree, so we’re offering a mix of small, medium, and large trees.
At the time of planting, all trees will be approximately 1 inch in trunk diameter and 8-10 feet tall.
Kansas City has strong regulations on where trees can and cannot be planted in the right-of-way. Even though you would really like a tree, likely after an on-site visit, it was determined that you did not have adequate space. There are a number of reasons why this might occur such as you had less than 5 feet of greenspace between your sidewalk and street, the proposed tree would block a traffic sign or street light or the space is located too close to an intersection.
We will have underground utilities marked several times throughout this program. You will see painted markings and flags in the yard, which will help us identify SAFE places to plant. We will pick up all visible flags after the tree has been planted. Private irrigation lines will not be marked with the typical utility locates so the homeowner is required to contact HTA to let them know the general location of the lines, if there are any.
Your new tree should have 1 inch of water a week. If it rains or snows equal to or over 1 inch, you can take the week off. Otherwise, you should fill your water bag every week March through December or use a garden hose to soak the ground and mulch around your tree. We recommend you turn the hose on about a quarter of the way and let it soak slowly into the ground moving it around the tree every few minutes. March through December water weekly. Winter months try to water one day a month when temperatures are above freezing..
TreeDiapers® are an innovative watering system that recharges through rainfall and or irrigation and slowly releases the water as the soil dries. Still not sure, check out their FAQ page and this little video
We recommend you check on your tree every two weeks. The best way to do that is to dig about 6 inches in the soil under the diaper. If it’s dry, time to recharge! Generally, TreeDiaper® only needs to be recharged once every month if there is less than one inch of rain.
We recommend leaving TreeDiaper® outdoors through winter so that it can charge with melting snow and ice water. It can help protect tree roots from winter damage. Additionally, winter drought may kill your deciduous tree without a sign. By the time you notice it, it is too late. Leaving TreeDiaper® outdoors helps to prevent winter drought damages.
If you are moving from your home prior to the completion of your two year pledge, we ask that you contact us via email email@example.com or by phone 816-561-1086. Heartland Tree Alliance will work with the new homeowner and/or the neighborhood contact to ensure that your tree is adopted and watered by another.
Yes! We believe in the power of community, and we are organizing neighborhood volunteer tree plantings. See our volunteer page to sign up to volunteer. You do not need to be a resident of the neighborhood we’re planting in.
Yes! We require you to sign a waiver stating that you have received written permission to participate. We would be happy to speak to the property owner to further explain the program if necessary.
Kansas City Parks and Recreation has funded the KCMO tree program. The City of Merriam funds the Merriam tree plantings.