Arbor Day Foundation: More than just cheesy commercials

Those of us of a certain age all remember the Trees are Terrific commercials that Arbor Day put out a couple of decades ago.  While the commercials were over the top patronizing, the message was still solid…get out there and plant some trees people.  Enter in Arbor Day Foundation 2013.  They are still alive and kicking without the cheesy animated cardinal.  Their website has a wealth of information about planting in your zone, educational programs for kids as well as opportunities to help your city/town replenish your tree population through programs like Tree City USA.

pic courtesy of

pic courtesy of

They also have what looks like a beautiful lodge for the ULTIMATE tree hugger vacation, Lied Lodge.  While we have not been there, I think it would be a very easy sell for me to get Sheldon to visit their lodge/tree farm while I get some rubs in the spa:

Barn at the lodge: pic courtesy of Lied Lodge

Barn at the lodge: pic courtesy of Lied Lodge

But, I’m not here to talk about scamming my way into a spa day (sigh, heavenly!)…I’m here to talk about scoring some bargain trees.  You can do this a few different ways like through getting a membership for ten itty bitty dollars, you get ten free trees that you get to select from a listing of either ten of the same, or just ten pretty flowering trees that are well suited for your zone like the Golden Raintree:

pic courtesy of

pic courtesy of

Or, if you are feeling more generous, you can either opt for no trees at all…or you can select that your ten free trees go into a Nat’l Forest.  In addition to the gift with membership purchase, you can also just purchase trees outright from their nursery, which we did (and I will blog on when I’m not so sore from the planting.) The only thing I wasn’t crazy about was the idea of ordering fruit trees through them without being able to verify from whence they came….ie…GMO?  It looks like some of their fruit trees are heirloom varieties but I can’t seem to find information on the others.  However, I personally believe there is much that you can do to “rehabilitate” certain plants/trees if you take a long view approach.  That is-more than likely, these trees will take at least a few years to reach fruit bearing stage.  As a result, if perhaps they grew up initially in a “broken-home” full of chemicals from parents with questionable heritage, they can still be loved, nurtured and eventually grown as organic as possible.   And while you can’t love the GMO out of a plant, I do think that you can get pretty close to what God intended with some TLC.  Bottom line is that while I can’t verify if these trees are all heirloom, non-GMO, organic, etc etc…I still believe it is a really good thing for the environment planting more trees that are good for your zone.

Sigh, ok…gotta go get dressed for a morning of boring errands in the city.  Been up waaaay too long today.  Curse you time change!  Happy planting!

Check out some great new posts every Monday at the Homestead Barn Hop!

Check out some great new posts every Monday at the Homestead Barn Hop!




6 thoughts on “Arbor Day Foundation: More than just cheesy commercials

  1. We’ve ordered trees from Arbor Day for years. We always get the heirloom varieties of the fruit trees,but they claim none of their trees are GMO if you ask. I believe them -GMO trees require royalty payments just like newly patented hybrids and their trees are too cheap to include royalties.

    All the trees we’ve gone have been healthy and have taken off as soon as they were put in the ground. The pear trees we got from them have grown four feet in two years.

    The free trees are always iffy, however. They are usually barely a foot tall and may or may not make it. The labeling on them is also questionable. I think we had only had 3 of 10 take from the last batch, and we had to get help identifying two of them because the markings were so bad.

    • Ah-that is a question answered about the GMO-thank you! I have poked all over their website and couldn’t find a straight answer, but I appreciate the info!

      We bought fruit trees from them and most of the flowering/free trees are just going to be for privacy from one neighbor that we have a clear shot across the pasture to…so if they don’t all take, we’re ok with that. Thanks for the feedback!

  2. I told our city forester recently that I ordered trees from them and he said that they nurse them well in the ground, but that they don’t do a great job of getting them to you in good shape. Anyone know about the rate of success for the trees and their process of maintaining them while shipped?

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