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Free Trees, Seed, & Mulch

Free Trees

Starting at 10 am, 750 trees and 1,000 bags of mulch will be available at Ecofest on a first come first serve basis. (Limit 2 trees and 2 bags of mulch per household).

We cannot guarantee the availability of a specific tree at the event. So come early!

The Trees of Ecofest 2017

The Trees of Ecofest 2017V2

Benefits of Trees

  • Increase in Property Values

  • Decrease in Energy Costs

  • Improvement in Air Quality

  • Reduction in Storm Water Runoff

  • Decrease in Soil Erosion

  • Improvement in Water Quality

  • Creation of Wildlife Habitat

  • Increase in Community Pride

  • Positive Impact on Consumer Behavior

  • Increase in Recreational Opportunities

  • Improvement in Health and Well–being

  • Reduction of Noise Levels

  • Creation of Buffer Zones

It is important to carefully choose the site where you will plant your tree before digging. Pay special attention to where the tree will be planted making sure that it will have plenty of clearance from obstructions as the tree matures. Overhead power lines, underground lines, sidewalks, and buildings should be given consideration before choosing the planting site. 

Correct preparation encourages root growth reducing the difficulties already challenging the young tree. Most roots spread through the top 12" of soil in a wide periphery around the tree. Slope the side of the hole and dig or deeply rototill an area around the hole at least twice the diameter of the container.

Plant the tree with the top of the root ball even with the surrounding terrain. When wet conditions or heavy soil are problems, raising several inches of the root ball above ground will aid the spread of lateral roots.

Backfill with native soil or a mix of native soil and high quality top soil. Gently pack and soak with water. Add a 2-3” thick mulch layer around the tree out to the edge of the drip line, mounding the mulch at the outer edge to create a bowl effect. Be careful not to let the mulch touch the trunk of the tree. The best time to plant trees in the Arlington area is between December and March.


Tree watering is a key part of tree care and it is difficult to recommend an exact amount due to the varieties of climates. But a few rules of thumb will help guide you to water your trees properly.

  • Watering Newly Planted Trees: For new trees, water immediately after you plant a tree.

  • Watering Trees During First Two Years: During the first couple growing seasons, your newly planted tree is expending a lot of energy trying to get its roots established in the soil. Especially during the first few summers of your new trees life, it will have a difficult time dealing with heat and drought. You can make this easier by providing water and covering the soil with wood-chip mulch. Deep watering can help speed the root establishment. Deep water consists of keeping the soil moist to a depth that includes all the roots.

  • How Much Water and When: Not enough water is harmful for the tree but too much water is bad as well. Over-watering is a common tree care mistake. Please note that moist is different than soggy, and you can judge this by feel. A damp soil that dries for a short period will allow adequate oxygen to permeate the soil. As a rule of thumb your soil should be moist. Usually 30 seconds with a steady stream of water from a garden hose w/ a diffuser nozzle per tree seedlings is sufficient. Mulching is also key in retaining moisture in the soil. mYou can check soil moisture by using a garden trowel and inserting it into the ground to a depth of 2”, and then move the blade of the trowel back and forth to create a small narrow trench. Then use your finger to touch the soil. If it is most to the touch, then they do not need water.

  • Watering Trees After the First Two Years: After your tree has been established in your yard for two years the roots will be established. This will allow your tree to withstand a wider range of water conditions including on its own because it has a proper root structure.

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Gold Medal Winner


The City of Arlington Parks and Recreation Department was recently named the Gold Medal Winner for excellence in Park and Recreation Management by the National Recreation and Park Association for 2018.

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