Trees for KCMO
In partnership with KC Parks and Recreation Department, Heartland Tree Alliance volunteers are planting FREE trees in your neighborhood! Trees will be planted along the street right-of-way, which is typically 10-15 feet from the street. There is no cost to you – except for water! We will provide the tree, mulch, watering bag, and we will even plant the tree for you (total value of $400+)! We only ask that you water the tree weekly for its first two years!
Steps to take ASAP:
1. Contact us to reserve your tree! We ask that you complete our online reservation form (click here) 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.
2. 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.
3. Review our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below to familiarize yourself with the program.
4. Educate yourself about the benefits of trees and why they are so important to our city. Click here to view our infographic.
Notice of Nondiscrimination: Bridging the Gap (BTG) complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, religion, or sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity). BTG does not exclude people or treat them differently because of race, color, national origin, age, disability, religion, or sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity).
Tree planting volunteers wanted!
Not able to receive a tree, but want to be involved in the project? Are you receiving a tree, and want the satisfaction of knowing you and your neighbors planted it as a team? We have you covered. Volunteer with our Heartland Tree Alliance program and help plant trees in your community! You’ll reap the benefits of getting fresh air, staying active, meeting other members of your community, not to mention an increased sense of ownership and pride in your neighborhood! To volunteer email us! Spread the word to your neighbors, community centers, and neighborhood facebook page!
All volunteers need to sign up in advance, and will receive an online auto-confirmation email with more details, including meeting location and day-of contact info. Min age, 14, with parent. We will provide tools and training.
Why should you take the pledge?
Trees have many environmental, social, and economic benefits:
- 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
- To view more benefits, check out our Tree Benefits infographic
Street Tree Initiative FAQs
How much will this cost me?
FREE! Besides the minimal cost of water over the next two years, your tree is free.
Where will my tree be planted?
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.
Who will plant my tree?
Heartland Tree Alliance, a program of Bridging The Gap, 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. See above for upcoming opportunities.
Will my tree be planted properly?
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 TreeKeeper course that will be at each event to ensure that proper planting techniques are followed throughout the entire workday.
Do I get to select the species of tree planted in front of my home?
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.
How large will the tree be when planted?
At the time of planting, all trees will be approximately 1 inch in trunk diameter and 8-10 feet tall.
I wanted a tree but was told I do not have adequate space?
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.
What are all these flags and spray paint marks?
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. Volunteers 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.
How often should I water my tree?
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 provided water bag every week March through December.
How do I water my tree using the “gator bag” you provided?
- Place the gator bag around the trunk of the tree and “zip” it up so that the tree trunk is inside.
- Lift up tag at top of bag to expose fill opening
- Insert water hose (up to 3″ dia.), into fill opening, turn on water supply and begin filling
- Gently lift up on the two black straps at top of bag in order to fully expand bottom.
- Fill bag with water completely and let drain. The water bag will be empty in approximately 5 to 9 hours. Trees prefer deep, infrequent watering.
What do I do if I move away before two years?
If you are moving from your home prior to the completion of your two year pledge, we ask that you contact us via email firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
My newly planted tree has no leaves and looks dead!
Contact Heartland Tree Alliance either by phone 816-561-1086 or via email email@example.com We will inspect the tree and determine the next steps.
My landlord won’t let me accept a new street tree. Can I participate in another way?
Yes! We believe in the power of community, and we are organizing neighborhood volunteer tree plantings. See the “volunteer” section on this page for an online link to sign up to volunteer. You do not need to be a resident of the neighborhood we’re planting in.