This is the eastern United States from northern Maine south to Tennessee and from eastern New England west to Minnesota and southern Missouri. In southern states, the trees occur only at elevations between 3,000 and 5,500 feet.
October 14th, 2018 at the Danada Equestrian Center, Wheaton, IL
We started early & didn’t stop ’til we ran out of trees!
We started handing out sugar maple seedlings at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County’s 2018 Fall Festival about a 1/2 hour before the event opened. The trees were larger than last year, as they had had an extra year to grow. It was also was easier than expected to dig them up due to the heavy rains several days before which had softened the soil. Because of that, some of these trees had all their roots intact and some of these roots were 2-3 feet long! I think they should all do very well if planted right away and according to the Planting Directions.
Another 100 trees given away!
This photo came in the day after the event…
Looks like this family did a great job planting!
They found a good spot
Planted their tree right away
Even used a protective wire wrapping. Great idea! Really helps keep lawn mowers at a safe distance.
My favorite things: the smiles and the red sneakers! Soooo cute. 🙂
The happy gentleman below was our very first “taker” at this event. This is always a special moment for me because it shows that people really are going to take trees home and plant them so all our hard work has been worthwhile.
All in all, it was a wonderful crowd, just like last year. Many people stopped by our booth and told us about the tree that they got from us last year or even the year before. Their trees were all doing well except for one, where the tree was run over by a mower.
We ran out of trees 2 hours before the event was over, so we could have found even more homes if we had more. I am encouraged that so many people are “getting it” about the value of trees and all the good that these magnificent living things do for us. Really, we can not live without them.
This makes 8,000 to 10,000
While it is hard to count so many trees over so many years, I believe it is safe to say that I have given away at least 8,000 to 10,000 sugar maple seedlings and about a dozen oak trees as well.
While it has been fun and rewarding and definitely worth it, it has also been a lot of hard work and a bit expense (pots, signage, booth setup, etc)! Since I have run out of seedlings, it is with bittersweet feelings that I call this project successfully completed and say good-bye. I will leave this blog up in case it encourages others to be brave and try to do something on a personal level to help the Earth and the life-forms we co-exist with, but it is time for me to turn the page and start a new adventure.
Before I sign off for the last time…
My heartful thanks …
To everyone who got a tree, planted it, and are caring for it and teaching their kids to do the same.
To everyone who made a donation to help cover the costs.
A very special thanks to all my dear friends (Marie, Bonnie, Ann, Karsten, Rob), Steve Tiwald at the Green Earth Institute, Jim Kleinwachter at The Conservation Foundation, the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, the Brownies, USBank, and countless others who helped in one way or another to dig, carry, hand out trees, or even just give much-needed advice and support. I could not have done this without each of you!
For this last event, special thanks to Bonnie, who worked by my side for 2 full days. You are awesome! I will send you a big bag of Epsom Salt so you can soak in a hot bath–you deserve it!)
To the Foresters of the City of Wheaton and the City of Naperville for taking some of the seedlings and planting them and for providing free mulch.
To the Veggie Fest folks and the DuPage Forest Preserve (especially
Wayne Zaininger) for generously letting me attend their events at no charge over the years!
Here are some great photos and stories that people have sent in. They tell the story of the impact of the sugar maple seedlings better than I possibly could! Check back every so often, as I will add more photos at the end, as they come in.
First, I wanted to include this note from Phyllis B. because it really shows how good deeds can sometimes have a ripple affect!
Good morning Sandy, planting of Maple Trees is such a wonderful idea. I gave my plant to a young lady and her to young sons. I was standing in line and over heard her talking to her sons how she wish she had gotten one for them. (They were all gone) I was planning to take my tree back to CA with me. So instead I shared it with them.
It looks beautiful, Joe! Sandy
It certainly looks happy right now. Best of luck and thanks for planting a tree! Thanks! Sandy
There’s no doubt about it–Veggie Fest 2017 was a huge success! Tens of thousands attended this year — more than any other year. The food was delicious, the bands were fabulous, the speakers were great! Despite the large crowd, there seemed to be happiness, peace, and good will everywhere. I couldn’t help but think that this is the way America should be!
This year our booth was right next to the entrance, so we were swamped from the start. We ran out of trees on Saturday at about 5:00 pm. Then, Sunday morning, we potted up a whole bunch more trees which we ran out of those at about 1:00 pm. Throughout the day, we kept potting up more trees and bringing them over in batches, handing them out as fast as they arrived.
We finally ran out of paper cups, so we had to quit. But we still had people signing up to get an email about the next time we’re going to do this. Here are photos of just a few of them.
And here are some more of the wonderful people who will be planting trees:
Here’s a look at some of the places where the seedlings will be planted.
I want to thank everyone who stopped by and picked up a seedling and promised to plant it! I think there were were over 700 of you, roughly, making this the best give-away event EVER for me!
And a very special thanks to all my dear friends who pitched in so many times to make this possible. They did everything from digging and potting, to driving back and forth, to lending equipment and moral support, to shopping, setting up the booth and taking it down, scrubbing the bins, and even donating the booth. Here are just a few that I have photos of:
Thanks also to Steve Tiwald of the Green Earth Institute for lending much needed bins as well as moral support and encouragement.
And last but by no means least, thanks go out to the Veggie Fest people for donating the booth again this year so that we could reach so many people! The Veggie Fest staff was incredibly nice! They helped us move stuff in a golf cart before and after the event. They brought us buckets full of water which we didn’t even ask for–they were very thoughtful and always there when we needed something!
Hi! If you came to VeggieFest 2017 and got a free sugar maple tree (or 2 or even 3), please remember to plant it as soon as possible according to the directions we handed out (which are also on this website), then send a photo of it to:
Although we ran out of trees to give-away at Veggie Fest, we will have more soon! Here are our next give-away events:
US Bank Branch Sat am in September
(exact date tbd)
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
1230 S Naper Blvd, Naperville, IL 60540
Look for us along the parkway.
Danada Fall Festival
Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Danada Equestrian Center
3S507 Naperville Road, Wheaton, IL 60189. Free admission.
Come spend a fun-filled, leisurely autumn day outside surrounded by the red, orange, yellow, brown and green hues of autumn. This annual festival attracts thousands of visitors. Events include hayrides, equestrian demonstrations, barn tours, musical entertainment, children’s activities, food and more.