This Arbor Day, Bartlett Tree Experts will give away more than 30,000 tree seedlings in communities across the U.S. as part of the Bartlett Legacy Tree Program. The Program, celebrating its eighth anniversary, has distributed over 515,000 tree seedlings since its inception in 2014. It was established by Bartlett Tree Experts to support tree planting and stewardship in local communities through the annual distribution of seedlings in schools, at events, and to reforestation efforts.
During the first half of this year, more than 60,000 trees have been distributed by Bartlett Tree Experts employees through the program. The majority of those seedlings are handed out or planted in the spring, primarily as part of Arbor Day and Earth Day festivities, events, and activities in a variety of locations.
“Our Legacy Tree Program is all about bringing trees and people together. It’s gratifying to see this program making that happen each year,” said Patrick Franklin, who manages the program. “Each of our Arborist Representatives is encouraged to distribute at least 100 seedlings every year, and many are so enthusiastic about the mission that they go far beyond that number. It’s a great way for Bartlett Tree Experts to make a difference while giving back to our communities and improving the environment.”
With all of Bartlett’s 151 offices participating in the program over the last eight years, the seedlings have been given away in over 30 U.S. states, three Canadian provinces, and numerous locations in greater London in the United Kingdom as well as Dublin, Ireland. Most community-based Arbor Day events were cancelled in 2020 because of COVID-19, prompting Bartlett Arborist Representatives to get creative in distributing seedlings. Many events resumed last year with social distancing guidelines in place.
As in years past, seedlings will be personally distributed by Bartlett Tree Experts in recognition of Arbor Day.
“With our Legacy Tree Program, we have always been involved in the planting of trees after natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, droughts and wildfires, as well as to help increase the urban tree canopy,” Franklin said. “I’d say the biggest change this year is that we’re seeing more seedlings going out compared to the last two years because of the easement in COVID restrictions, and people are feeling more comfortable getting back together. It’s great to see more of these events being scheduled and taking place!”
The tree seedlings being distributed include a variety of native species, such as White Oak, Redbud, and Dogwood. Species selection varies by geographic region with a focus on increasing the local diversity of native tree populations. So far this year, more than 60,000 seedlings have been ordered through the program for distribution in 2022 by Bartlett Arborist Representatives. “An incredible start,” Franklin said.