Planting the Future 

Do you need a tree to stay cool?

Homeowners living in heat islands (neighborhoods with high surface temperatures) may be eligible to receive a free native tree through our Planting the Future program.

The program, which was co-designed by the Natick High School Earth Club, Natick Sustainability Committee and Natick Department of Public Works, is initially funded by an Accelerating Climate Resiliency grant from the Barr Foundation and Metropolitan Area Planning Council. The goal to plant 50 native shade trees on private properties by the end of 2024 has already been approached, and we look forward to running this program again in the spring of 2024!

Interested in learning about how we map heat islands? Take a look at the 2023 Heat Watch Campaign.

Planting the Future

How to Get a Free Tree

Sign-ups for this program will begin again in early 2024. Check Natick's Sustainability newsletter for updates by signing up here

Once the program is back, follow these three steps:

1. Sign Up & Select a Planting Spot

Fill out this Google form. Upon completion, a volunteer will reach out and ask you to identify where you want to plant a tree on your property. Here is a resource to assist you in choosing an appropriate spot. A volunteer will assess your planting location using "right tree, right place" criteria. Residents will be contacted over the summer as the assessment process progresses. Priority will be given to properties in neighborhoods with high surface temperatures.

2. Get Your Free Tree

Selected property owners will be asked to sign a tree care agreement. Upon receipt, participants will be able to select a native tree of their choice from a local nursery, for free! Here is a list of trees recommended by the Tree Wardens of Massachusetts. Volunteers will be available to assist residents who need help transporting a tree from the nursery to their property.

3. Plant the Tree

View the instructions below on how to plant a tree. Tools will be made available as needed. Residents can plant their own tree, or get help from local volunteers.

Tree Planting 101 - Version 2
Step-by-Step Tree Planting Guide
Caring For New Trees - Version 2