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Tree Planting FAQ

FAQ - Rotary 2017-2018 1.2 Million Tree Planting Challenge

Can't find your question?  Send it to us at and we'll do our best to answer!

Q:  How do we earn credit towards the Presidential Citation with tree planting?

President Ian Riseley challenged every Rotary club to plant a tree for every member, and to post this information to The Rotary Showcase with the Project Category "Environment" as one of several options to earning a 2017-2018 Presidential Citation.  Your club submits the form for the Presidential Citation to your District, which reports it to Rotary International.   For instructions on the how to add your projects to The Rotary Showcase, click here.

Q:  When should we plant?

In many growing zones there are very specific months in which trees may be successfully planted with the minimum amount of care.   Newly planted trees need time to establish deep and broad root systems.  Although trees can often be planted outside these months, the amount of care required increases. In some zones, eg: much of Canada, it is virtually impossible to plant trees in winter (December – March) because the ground is frozen.    In cold winter seasons, tree root growth is dormant.  In hot summer seasons, ground water to nourish growth may be depleted.  The size of the root ball is also a factor to consider.  Larger root balls are more expensive and difficult to plant, but have a better survival rate in dry climates.  Check with your local expert or global partner, or write to for support on specific questions.

Q:  What type of tree should we plant? 

When considering the type of tree you should plant for your tree planting project, first speak with an arborist or a local professional such as a forester or horticulturalist. If you are partnering with another organization on your tree planting project consult with your partner. Also remember to consider trees native to the area where the trees will be planted. Native trees will be suited to the local climate and more likely to grow without extensive care. Exotic or non-native trees may not be your best choice and may require more care to grow.

Q:  What if we don't have a budget for tree planting this year?

No worries!  There are many partners with tree planting budgets who are looking for volunteers to help them plant trees.  

  • In the United States, check out the Land Trust Alliance's Land Trust Finder for a partner in your area.
  • Contact your local municipality or university environmental or resiliency office.
  • Write to to let us know you are looking for partners with a description of your project to share.

Q:  How will the trees that we plant be recognized?

Please use ESRAG's 1.2 Million Tree Planting Challenge Form to report the trees that you plant between July 1, 2017 and April 22, 2018.

Q:  Can we report trees that have already been planted?

Yes!  We would love to hear about the on-going and already completed projects.  Please use the Rotary Trees Planted in Past Years form to report the trees that your Club or District planted before the July 1, 2017 1.2 Million Tree Planting Challenge start date.

Q:  What if we want to support the 1.2 Million Tree Planting Project, but don't want to plant the trees ourselves?

What a boon for the Clubs with volunteers and no budgets!  If you are looking for a partner, check out the Tree Planting projects being supported by Rotary Districts and on-going partnerships.  Report your contributions through our 1.2 Million Tree Planting Challenge Form and include your partners.

Q:  Can a Club report its trees, or do they need to be reported by a district?

We invite Clubs that initiate projects to report their trees.  Trees planted by Clubs will be added to District totals.  Projects that are initiated by Districts can be reported by Districts.  Trees funded by Clubs or Districts will be added to District totals.  The intention is to avoid counting the same tree twice, and partnerships will be honored.  If we have questions, we'll get back in touch with the project contact, so don't worry.

Q:  Would planting food producing trees be acceptable?

Planting food producing trees is a great tree planting project.  Be aware that there are additional considerations as well as benefits. Before starting your project, consult with a local horticulturist, arborist or agricultural agent that specializes in food producing trees. Professionals can give you advice on site selection and trees species that would be best suited to your site as well as pest and disease resistance issues. Most food producing trees will also require pruning and additional care to insure successful production. Be certain that these aspects are part of your tree planting plan.  Another option is to support the Food Plant Solutions Rotarian Action Group, a Rotary district that is actively planting food producing trees (e.g., Mission Green in Uganda and Tanzania, District 9211) or another organization with which Rotarians have been working (e.g., the Trees That Feed Foundationand Sustainable Global Gardens).

Q:  Can we post our tree planting project and share it with the Rotary Family?

We encourage you to share your tree planting project on the Rotary Showcase.  Click here for a guide explaining how to post your project there.

We are also requesting that you send your project to the Environmental Sustainability Rotarian Action Group at We will post and share your project, providing inspiration to other Rotary Clubs. When you send us your project, include a brief description of the project, the name of your Rotary Club, location and district and the number of trees planted.

Q:  How can we make sure our trees survive?

That's a great question.  After all, we are growing trees, not just planting them.  Trees survive best when experts help in planning to plant the right tree, at the right time, in the right place.  Before the first hole is dug, consider who will care for the trees.  You increase survival rates by timing the planting in the spring season when growth conditions are at their peak.

Q:  How big is a tree?

The size of the tree that you plant will depend on your project and budget. If you are considering as a project to be part of a reforestation project then you may plant what is called bare root stock. These trees are small perhaps a couple years old, and easy to plant because the tree requires a very small hole. If your project is part of a city street tree planting project the trees could be relative large, 5 to 10 years old and may require specialized equipment to plant the trees. As you can see a tree is a tree, big or small.

Q:  How much should we pay for our trees?

The size of the tree will determine the price. You can shop online and at local nurseries and forestry services to determine the market price for a wide variety of trees size and varieties. If you are partnering with another organization they may take on the responsibility to purchase the trees.