Blog post and photos by Tessa Wasserman
Member, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter
If you haven’t been out to Forest ReLeaf of Missouri’s CommuniTree Gardens Nursery in Maryland Heights for volunteering, a tour, or to pick up free trees for a non-profit planting project then I highly recommend visiting this hidden gem.
You will have a chance to visit Forest ReLeaf this Saturday, October 14, from 9:00 a.m. to noon with the tour beginning at 10:00 a.m.. There will be a free tour and a chance to purchase native trees and shrubs for a very reasonable donation. List of Forest ReLeaf trees and shrubs still available
Forest ReLeaf was established as a charitable non-profit nursery in 1993. Since its incorporation, close to 200,000 trees have been given away to communities in need of more canopy or beautification.
Trees are given to financially underserved areas, schools, parks, churches, and homeowner’s associations. They have been sent to communities affected by natural disasters like the Joplin tornado and have replaced 1,200 dying ash trees so far in St. Louis Ward 1 from Emerald Ash Borer damage. St. Louis is expected to lose 14,000 ash trees in the next few years, so Forest ReLeaf is essential to replacing these once common street trees.
Wild Ones and Forest ReLeaf of Missouri have very similar missions. Both groups care about the environment, encourage the planting of native plants in communities and homes and volunteer at public planting projects. Forest ReLeaf just recently opened sales to private homeowners to offset costs of maintaining the 23,000 container trees and shrubs on the property. Three, seven, and 15 gallon trees are currently available.
Also at the CommuniTree Gardens nursery, the volunteers and staff have installed a rain garden to fix drainage problems which include 65 native species, an arboretum of 160+ native and cultivar species for educational/demonstration purposes, and soon to be wildflower garden and prairie for the benefit of pollinators. At this Gold Level Bring Conservation Home site, you will see multitudes of wildlife attracted to their host trees and plants or finding nest sites and cover.
To request free trees for a public or nonprofit group, just fill out the easy application online at moreleaf.org. It is currently open for requests and there are still thousands of trees that need a good home!
2194 Creve Coeur Mill
St. Louis, MO 63146
10:00 a.m. tour
“Nursery tours are held weather depending; we advise you to use you best judgment. If there is very light rain, the tour may still be held. If there is inclement weather or any severe weather warning, please assume that the tour has been canceled for that month.”