What to Expect on Planting Day


For more information on the TreePlanters Grants program or if you have any additional questions about planting day, please contact or call 312-863-6289.

Information for Openlands Volunteers

As the TreePlanters Grantee, it is your responsibility to share the following information with neighborhood volunteers and community groups before planting day. Openlands will provide you with an electronic form to collect tree adopter information and maintenance agreements. Volunteers can save time at check-in by registering in advance using the unique event link that will be sent to you prior to planting day.


A typical planting day begins early and is complete a little after noon, depending on how many trees are being planted and the number of volunteers participating.


Openlands staff arrives and begins placing trees, setting up equipment, and preparing for the day.


Volunteers arrive, check-in, and enjoy refreshments.


Introductions, overview of day, and warm-ups.


Volunteers are broken into small groups to be led by TreeKeepers and Openlands staff.


Planting, mulching, and watering of the new trees.

12:30-1: 00pm

Clean up, wrap up, and thank yous.

Frequently Asked Questions

The volunteers actually plant the new trees. With the help of our TreeKeepers, we work to educate community members on proper planting methods and tree care. This not only ensures the health of the trees planted at these events, but also gives volunteers knowledge that they can use in their own backyards.

No, Openlands is not a landscape contractor or tree nursery. We organize community tree plantings that requires participation from all volunteers on the same day.

It is important to remember that a tree is not guaranteed to be planted until it is actually planted in the ground. Possible issues can concern utilities, new construction, electric lines, light and traffic signs, old stumps, or standing dead trees.

Openlands selects mostly large, urban-tolerant, native shade trees, such as oaks, northern catalpa, and Kentucky coffee trees.

The trunk of the trees are around two inches in caliper size, which is measured 6” from ground level. The trees range in height depending on their species, with an average height of ten feet. Check out our Instagram account for photos from the latest tree planting events. 

No. The inspector identified those locations based on city standards which include many factors, such as distance from fire hydrants, light poles, driveways, alleys, and other trees. It is important that the tree is planted where it was approved to allow it to flourish.

We choose our trees for the planting season based on city standards, nursery availability, parkway conditions, and to encourage species diversity in the neighborhood. Openlands Forestry Team members are International Society of Arboriculture certified arborists and do our best to choose the ‘right tree for the right place.’

No. The marks are placed to provide the maximum number of trees on the street and we will not split the difference.

Unless there are specific circumstances that would require a smaller or understory tree to be planted, Openlands plants shade trees that are large at maturity because they increase the overall tree canopy cover in the city, soak up more stormwater, provide more habitat for wildlife, and lower energy costs for residents by casting more shade.

Openlands secures all appropriate right of way permits for the planting day. Through this process, DIGGER or JULIE are notified of all planting locations and will mark appropriate utility lines. This ensures volunteer safety and the correct placement of trees.

We have all the information you need to take care of your trees laid out here.

Meet Our Expert Staff

Community Arborist
Openlands Staff Tom Ebeling
Senior Forestry Program Manager
Openlands Staff Michael Dugan
Director of Forestry
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