Volunteer 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
Help us plant trees!
Find volunteer opportunities on our event calendar on the Cumberland River Compact site.
Volunteer info for other Root Nashville campaign partners
Be sure to check out other volunteer opportunities through Root Nashville campaign partners. Volunteer opportunities can be found on each partners’ website, and the full list of tree planters in Nashville is available here.
Planting Event FAQs
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!
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.
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.
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.)
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!
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.
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.