Plant at Your School

Any school located in the upstate (Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Oconee, or Pickens County) can apply to partner with TreesUpstate on a school tree planting project.

Partnering with your school helps promote the importance of trees and grow environmental leaders for the next generation! We are excited for your students to be involved with school tree plantings.

School tree plantings take place during the school day with classes, after school, or (for a minimum of 20 trees) on Saturday mornings.

When Do We Plant?

Our planting season is October – March.

For larger plantings of 20+ trees, we plant with volunteers on a Saturday morning from 9am to noon. On planting day, we’ll bring tools and and gloves. We start with a tree planting demonstration to teach everyone how to properly plant and mulch a tree.

TreesUpstate also works with teachers to put together educational tree plantings during the school day with up to 4 classes. Student plantings take place on Wednesdays between November and February. With elementary students, we typically plant 1 tree per class (45 minutes per class). With middle schools students, we typically plant 2-3 trees per class (1 hour 15 minutes per class). With high school students, we typically plant 3-5 trees per class (1 hour 15 minutes per class). Due to the high volume of our educational planting requests, each school only qualifies for one educational tree planting per year. Every student in the class has an opportunity to participate in the tree planting process at our student planting events, and our staff teaches the proper planting techniques as well as the benefits of trees.

How much does it cost us to participate?

Trees are provided FREE to schools. All we ask is that you recognize us as a Community Partner at the level of our donation of trees and time. The full cost to TreesUpstate to plant one tree is $250. This includes site visits, site analysis, site planning, species selection, nursery stock selection, trees, soil, mulch, amendments, project management, and tree installation.

We also require our site partners to water the trees for 2 years to ensure survival. To help with watering, we provide tree diapers, a watering system that absorbs and holds rainwater for up to 3 weeks.

TreesUpstate & Noble Tree Foundation

We’re excited to be partnered with The Noble Tree Foundation in Spartanburg County to plant 1,000 trees at schools in 5 years.

How does it work?

Step 1

Someone from your school needs to submit an interest form. Complete this short survey now to get started. We recommend applying between April and August to secure a spot in our October – March calendar.

Step 2

TreesUpstate’s Forestry Staff will work with your designated school staff or faculty member to plan and organize a tree planting at your school. TreesUpstate will help you select the right tree for the right place. A site visit with you will help us draft a landscape plan. Once approved by your principal you’ll submit the final plan with your DFK (if applicable) to the school district.

What's the cost of the program?

TreesUpstate raises every dollar so we can pay for these trees and services for the schools! The cost for TreesUpstate to plant one tree is $250. There is no cost to the school- it’s FREE! Please support us by recognizing our contribution to your school via social media and/or a school newsletter.

What size trees do you plant?

We plant 15-gallon container trees.  They are about 1″ diameter and 6′-12′ tall.  A variety of urban hardy & native canopy and understory species are available.

What species do you plant?

We plant over 150 different species and cultivars of trees including oak species, tulip poplar, black tupelo, maple species, hornbeam, hophornbeam, redbud, serviceberry, magnolia, cedar, cryptomeria, and river birch. Species selection depends on availability from local nurseries where we purchase trees. However, the site school always has the final say! It’s our goal to plant the right tree in the right place.

Who qualifies?

Any school in our service area of Anderson, Greenville, Oconee, Pickens, or Spartanburg County is eligible for our programs.

What are the requirements of the school to participate in a tree planting?

1. Schools must submit the tree design (provided by TreesUpstate) to the district for approval
2. The school/ school district is responsible for locating/ marking any private utilities that will not be marked by SC811.
3. For student tree plantings, the school/ district is responsible for pre-digging holes for the trees.
4. Tree diapers, a watering tool that absorbs and hold rainwater for us to 3 weeks, will be provided. In the case of drought (no rain for 3+ weeks) during the 2 years after planting, the school is responsible for a watering plan.

What do you provide for a tree planting project?

We provide the trees, mulch (if needed), soil amendments, tools, work gloves, volunteer coordination, student education, and tree diapers, a watering tool that absorbs and hold rainwater for us to 3 weeks.

Do you provide after-care for the trees?

Our staff will conduct bi-annual tree checks for the first two years after planting and structural pruning at years 3 and 5. Please request any other assistance you require and we will do our best to help!

What is a tree giveaway?

TreesUpstate has given away over 25,000 trees since 2016! Our tree giveaway program targets families who can plant a tree at home. More trees across the upstate translates into cleaner air for all of us! We give away native tree species in 3-gallon pots. The trees are between 2′ and 7′ tall. Families can pick up their trees (1-2 per household) at a 2-3 hour tree giveaway event. Tree planting instructions provided.

When should we apply?

Our planting calendar can fill up 6 months beforehand! Apply now to secure a spot for this upcoming school year.

When do you plant trees?

We plant trees during winter months, when trees are dormant. Our planting season spans the end of October through the end of March.