Trees4CLE Tree Adoptions


Trees Adopted

Get a Tree (or 2) for your Yard!

Western Reserve Land Conservancy’s vision is to increase Cleveland’s tree canopy with the social, economic, and environmental benefits it provides. But we can’t do it alone…

Approximately 70 to 80 percent of Cleveland’s tree canopy potential is located on private property.  By providing free trees (and relevant care materials) to residents and business owners, our Trees4CLE Tree Adoption program gets trees planted on private property and generates a great impact on our city’s reforestation effort.

These adoptions have connected over 1,200 trees to residents throughout the city— putting the future of Cleveland’s canopy in Clevelander’s hands.

Our Spring 2024 Earth Day Trees4CLE Tree Adoption Application is live!

Multiple species will be available including small, flowering trees, beautiful shade trees, fruit trees, legacy trees, and evergreens. We select species that are either native or proven hardy for our region and the urban environment. Available only for Cleveland Residents with a limit of 2 trees per address.

Apply Now


*Note: This is an application-based process. Signing up does not guarantee you a tree. 



Tree Adoption FAQs

Am I eligible?

You are eligible to receive a FREE tree if you meet the following requirements:

  1. You are a resident of the City of Cleveland
  2. You will be planting your tree(s) within the city
  3. Your tree(s) will be planted on private property in front, side or back yards (NOT in containers or in the tree lawn)

What species should I choose and how do I know the right place to plant on my property?

When choosing a species and where to plant it, it’s important to consider a few factors so your tree will thrive for years to come. First, be sure to consider the available space in your yard for roots and branches as the tree matures. Second, it’s important to note the amount of sunlight your space is exposed to. Third, be sure to check if there are any overhead utility wires or underground utility pipes where you are considering planting the tree. The Right Tree, Right Place guide from the Arbor Day Foundation can be very helpful in determining the best tree and planting location for you.
How do we choose what tree species to offer?

We make sure to offer a variety of trees ranging from small to large with native, deciduous and evergreen species. See our Spring 2024 species here. By identifying the available trees at nearby nurseries and selecting species that will thrive in Cleveland’s urban environment, we are able to compile a thorough list of available species for adoption. We also consider your feedback. If you would like to suggest a species, you can fill out the following survey:
I want a small flowering tree for my yard, but you always run out. Why don’t you offer more?

Because biodiversity is important! A diverse urban forest results in improved wildlife habitat. For example, the Ohio Buckeye produces fruits eaten by squirrels and large spring flowers that attract hummingbirds, while the sugar maple is great for nesting chickadees and woodpeckers. Diversity also improves the resiliency of the urban forest. By promoting diversity, we can prevent mass canopy losses. Tree populations should be comprised of no more than 30% of any family, 20% of any genus and 10% of any species.
How big are the trees at pickup?

Unless otherwise noted, all trees come in 3-gallon containerized pots and range from 2-6 feet depending on the species. Trees will fit in a car, truck, bus or even on your bike.
How do I plant my tree?

At our tree adoption event, you will receive your tree as well as relevant materials on how to properly plant and care for your tree. For additional info, check out our Treesources.