Planting Events

From about mid-October through the end of March every season, our team is out delivering hundreds of trees every week to neighborhoods all across Nashville. Did you know that Nashville’s land is 94% privately owned? Because of this, almost all of the plantings organized through the Cumberland River Compact (the operational lead of the Root Nashville campaign) take place on private properties — in front and backyards in neighborhoods. This means our volunteer opportunities are generally small, and include the planting preparation step of digging the hole for a tree before it is delivered. But we are always looking for eager, planet-loving helping hands with a yes-we-canopy spirit! Keeping an eye on this VolunteerHub link through the Cumberland River Compact is the best way to follow upcoming events, as well as following Root Nashville on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

See below for planting event FAQs.


Canopy Conversations: Trees in Your Neighborhood (webinar recordings)

Learn more about ways to increase canopy in your neighborhood, and share your ideas. This series is especially created for community leaders, HOA board members, neighborhood association members, beautification commissioners, and tree advocates who want to get more involved. Each session includes a short informational presentation, followed by a group discussion. 


Planting Event FAQs

Q: How big are the trees?

A: We plant 1″-caliper and 1.5″-caliper ball-and-burlap trees, which means trees that are generally at least 6-8 feet tall and 100+ pounds each, with the root ball included. So, these trees are big, but volunteers of all ages and abilities can contribute! 

Q: What kind of work is involved in planting?

A: The holes for the trees are about 4 feet wide and 1.5 feet deep, and the digging is usually the bulk of the work. Once the holes are prepared, the trees are lifted in groups of 2-3 and are already next to their planting site on the day of the event, so they don’t need to be moved very far at all. We’ve had young children help dig and clean up, as well as amazing retirees! No one plants alone, and all crews are supervised by a member of the Root Nashville team at planting events.

Q: How long do most events last?

A: Plantings are generally scheduled for about 3 hours, but often end early. If a volunteer wants to attend for most of the event but needs to leave early, that is totally fine.

Q: What should I wear and bring?

A: Your own water bottle, snacks if you’d like them, a mask, work clothes that you can get dirty, closed-toe shoes, and work gloves if you have them. (If you don’t have work gloves, we can provide them on site.)

Q: Who attends planting events?

A: We have an incredible, fun, and diverse core of volunteer planters. We are always delighted to see familiar faces and newcomers at every event. You don’t need any tree-planting experience to attend, as a Root Nashville team member will lead a planting demonstration at the kick-off of every event, as well as supervising each smaller planting crew. From college students, to young professionals looking to meet others, to families, and retirees looking to give back to their city, we welcome all!

Q: What pandemic precautions are being followed?

A: We are closely following guidelines from the Mayor’s Office and the Metro Public Health Department. Masks are required at all events, and no event exceeds more than 25 total participants. We take the temperatures of all volunteers using a touchless thermometer when they arrive. Gloves worn during planting events are washed in between events before being offered again, and volunteers must be wearing gloves while handling tools.

Q: Why should I participate?

A: Planting trees is a tangible way to give back to Nashville and the environment. We can just about guarantee that you’ll have a good time, that you’ll meet interesting people, and that you’ll be able to look back on your work for years to come with pride as the trees grow and flourish.