Choose and Plant Trees & Shrubs

One of the simplest and most valuable environmental projects is replacing lawn and planting eroding areas with locally native trees, shrubs and perennial plants. The root systems of trees and shrubs hold soil in place and slow and capture rainwater; even smaller woodlands act like sponges, absorbing pollutants and filtering runoff before it reaches rivers, streams and drinking water. Trees produce oxygen, absorb carbon dioxide and pollutants and improve air quality, and can provide significant energy savings when strategically planted.  The structure, leaves, flowers, seeds, berries and other fruits of trees and shrubs provide food, shelter, nesting sites and safe migration paths for a variety of wildlife.  Anyone can plant a tree or shrub, but it’s important to plant it correctly! Proper planning and planting is critical to the success of your project! Follow the tips and instructions below to learn how to choose native trees and shrubs that match your site conditions and goals, how to prepare your site, and instructions on planting.

Before You Start

Overview: Project Planning Basics

Overview: School Grounds Site Assessment

  • i-Tree Analysis Tools for Assessing & Managing Community Forests
  • Forests for the Bay Landserver Property Mapping Tool
  • Design and Preparation

    Overview: Project Design Basics

    Trees & Shrubs: Choosing, Sourcing & Determining Numbers


    Overview: Project Implementation Basics

    Site Preparation & Planting Instructions


    Tree & Shrub Maintenance Tips

    Overview: Project Maintenance Basics

    Using Your Project

    Overview: Using Your Project

    Eco Schools LEAF Sustainability Pathway

    Eco School Sustainability Pathways Lessons & Resources

    Eco School National Standards & Curriculum Alignment

    Project Learning Tree Curriculum Offerings

    Eco Schools Green STEM Initiative

    Sharing Your Project

    Overview: Sharing Your Project

    Resource Center

    Project Resource Library: Learn More!
    Eco Schools USA
    National & State Green School Programs
    Bay Backpack Teaching Resources Search Engine
    EPA Learning & Teaching About the Environment (awards, resources, more)