Steps for getting a free tree:
- Please review the Instructions for Planting a Tree below about how to correctly plant your tree to give it the best chance of survival.
- Fill out the form below, answer the questions, and submit the form. We will then contact you to schedule an appointment for receiving your free tree(s).
- You will be asked to sign a pledge that you will care for your tree(s) when you pick up your tree(s). Click to view/download a copy of the pledge. Trees will be available at Audubon House, 195 9th Street SE, Vero Beach, at scheduled times.
Instructions For Planting A Tree
Right Tree – Right Place: Planning before planting can help ensure that the right tree is planted in the right place. Be sure to plant at least 20 feet from your house and away from overhead lines, septic tanks, and drain fields.
Steps For Planting
- Locate all underground utilities prior to digging.
- Identify the trunk flare, which is where the trunk expands at the base of the tree. This point should be partially visible after planting.
- Dig a shallow, broad planting hole that is 2-3 times wider than the root ball, but only as deep as the root ball.
- Remove the container by cutting it off or pressing it in all around to free the soil inside. Inspect container tree root balls for circling roots. Cut off any that circle the rootball as they will hamper the tree’s growth.
- Place the tree at the proper height. If the tree is planted too deep, new roots will have difficulty developing because of a lack of oxygen.
- Straighten the tree in the hole. Before backfilling, have someone view the tree from several directions to confirm it is straight.
- Fill the hole gently, but firmly. Pack soil around the base of the root ball to stabilize it. Fill the remainder of the hole, firmly packing the soil to eliminate air pockets that may dry out roots. Further reduce air pockets by watering periodically while backfilling. Do not fertilize at the time of planting.
- Do not stake the tree. Trees establish more quickly and develop stronger trunk and root systems if they are not staked at the time of planting.
- Mulch the base of the tree with organic matter to hold moisture, moderate soil temperature extremes, and reduce weeds. Pine bark is recommended.
- Provide follow-up care. Keep the soil moist, but not water-logged.
FREE Live Oak Tree Giveaway
Answer the questions below, select the trees you would like, then submit the form. We will contact you to schedule an appointment to receive your free tree(s).
Pelican Island Audubon Society also sells a variety of native trees. Click to learn more.