Frequently Asked Questions
Public Event Announcement
- When is National Tree Day?
- Why is National Tree Day held in July?
- How else can I get involved?
- What is Local Provenance?
- What type of plants should we use?
- What Insurance cover is provided for National Tree Day participants?
- Do I need permission to use the National Tree Day logo?
- How do I submit the results from my National Tree Day event?
- Where can I get National Tree Day merchandise?
- How can I view the Available Resources in my area?
Volunteering at a Site
Organising a Site
- What is a Site Coordinator?
- What should I consider when choosing a tree planting site and date?
- What do I need to do after the day?
- I am not available to participate on Schools Tree Day or National Tree Day. Can I pick another day?
- Where do I get my native plants?
- How can I manage volunteer numbers?
- How do I register my site?
- What planning do I need to do?
- Who else can help me?
- What do I need to do on the day?
- What about accidents and incidents?
- Where can I find a planting site?
- I'm a teacher who is new to Tree Day, what do I do?
- Does Planet Ark supply us with trees for our site?
- Where can I get plants?
- What type of plants should we use?
- What is a site coordinator?
- What do I do after I register?
- Do I have to plant on the actual School Tree Day date?
- Do I need to provide a photo release for the students?
The Seedling Bank
- How much of my donation is going directly to the beneficiary groups of Seedling Bank grants?
- If I am successful in securing a grant, how will I receive my funding?
- Do I need to be a registered National Tree Day coordinator to apply for a grant?
- If I am successful in securing a grant, what reporting will I be required to produce?
- When and how will I find out if my application has been approved?
- Do I have to plant on National Tree Day official dates?
- If my Seedling Bank grant application is rejected, can I apply again in the future?
Will National Tree Day go ahead?
Yes, we will absolutely be going ahead National Tree Day this year. Please keep up to date on any COVID-19 regulations around the time of your event, as this may place restrictions on the event, such as capacity limits.
When is National Tree Day?
In 2021, Schools Tree Day is on Friday 30th July and National Tree Day is Sunday 1st August.
Why is National Tree Day held in July?
Australia is a vast land with a great degree of climatic variations. At the inception of the program, Planet Ark was advised by various experts that July on average is the best time for planting Australia-wide.
As the climate varies widely across Australia, however, there may be areas that do not suit this time of year for planting. That is why we say "Any Day is Tree Day" and offer the option of (Your Town) Tree Day or (Your Region) Tree Day. For example, the Cairns region in Queensland holds "Tropical Tree Day" in December each year.
We also invite people in areas that don't suit tree planting in late July to use National Tree Day for other tree-related community conservation efforts, such as a seed collection, bush regeneration or site maintenance. You could also use the day to visit a previous planting site and provide mulching, watering, and weeding.
How else can I get involved?
If you cannot plant on National Tree Day, there are still plenty of ways to get involved! Go for a bushwalk, do some weeding, access our lesson plans or activity guides here.
Stay connected by following our social channels or subscribe to our newsletter for updates.
What is Local Provenance?
Local Provenance is the term used to describe native plant populations that naturally occur in a given area.
Many native plant species can be found to occur naturally across a broad geographic area or range. For example, hairpin banksia (Banksia spinulosa) naturally occurs across 3 states, from coastal Victoria to Cairns.
However, the plants growing in a specific area will have adapted to the local conditions over a long period of time. Although of the same species, a hairpin Banksia from southern Victoria will have a different genetic makeup to it's cousin in Cairns, just as the same species of plant found on the coast will be different from that growing in the mountains. Different populations containing local genetic variations are called provenances.
For true local provenance, the individual plant is grown from seed stock from parent plants within the same population (or as close by as possible).
Bringing in plants sourced from a different region can compromise the genetic integrity of the species - i.e. weaken the ability of the plant population to thrive in the specific local conditions through diluting the genes that have been selected over a long period of adaptation to local conditions. Eventually, given time and the right conditions of isolation, this variation between populations can lead to new species evolving.
Preserving local provenance populations, on the other hand, is an important way of protecting biodiversity and combating the threat to biodiversity posed by climate change.
What type of plants should we use?
Planet Ark recommends that for native planting sites you only plant local natives. Local natives are perfectly suited to the local soil type and climate, and they're also great for wildlife. Other plants, even if they are Australian natives (but not local to your area) risk becoming a weed. (See local Provence above) To find plants native to your local area it's best to contact your council.
What Insurance cover is provided for National Tree Day participants?
Planet Ark has arranged Voluntary Workers Insurance which covers participants at registered public National Tree Day events and any registered public National Tree day activity taking place throughout the year, subject to policy conditions and with benefits varying dependent on age.
For this cover to be effective each participant (including the coordinator themselves) must sign a Volunteer Registration Form Registrations for children under 18 must be signed by the parent or guardian. The activity must also be registered with Planet Ark as a National Tree Day event.
All Insurance forms are located within the Coordinators Hub, after login.
*Insurance certificates are issued according to the financial year calendar i.e. July 1st-June 30th. Certificates of Currency will next be updated on July 1st. All plantings up to June 30th should use the current certificate.
Please indicate when you register, whether you agree to let Planet Ark use your information for the purpose of promoting and coordinating the National Tree Day event.
Do I need permission to use the National Tree Day logo?
Yes - please email requests to us.
How do I submit the results from my National Tree Day event?
On the far right side of the event’s description, click the 3 small dots: “…” to bring show the drop-down menu. Click on “Log Results” and add in your information. Once you’ve included all of your event’s details, click on “Submit Results”.
Where can I get National Tree Day merchandise?
Toyota has sponsored National Tree Day for past 21 years and their merchandise is produced and provided by Toyota HQ as part of their support.
Participating Toyota dealerships may offer plants, gardening gloves, hats and tree guards. However, dealerships are independently owned and what they offer varies between outlets.
If contacting your local dealership, ask for the Guest Experience Manager.
Click here to find a dealer.
How can I view the Available Resources in my area?
When you log in to the Coordinator Hub, you will see a box labeled Available Resources. On the top corner of this box, you can enter your state in the drop-down menu. From there, you can view any resources being offered by clicking on the title (highlighted in blue) and reading the details.
Resources include items such as seedlings, tree guards etc.
I can't find a site?
Keep an eye on the Find a Site page on the home page of our website closer to National Tree Day, as many events are registered in June/July timing. You just enter your postcode and publicly sites near your location will be listed.
Do I have to pay to participate in National Tree Day?
No. Participation in National Tree Day is free, although occasionally some sites ask for a gold coin donation towards a local green group or charity or to assist with the cost of refreshments provided.
What is a Site Coordinator?
The Site Coordinator person responsible for organising a Tree Day event.
Site coordinators are responsible for registering their site with Planet Ark, sourcing plants, organising the provision of tools and equipment, ensuring that the suitable forms are completed by attendees and in the general coordination of the day. They are also responsible for the ongoing site maintenance and ensuring all the plants are looked after properly. For more information visit our Get Involved page.
What should I consider when choosing a tree planting site and date?
You need to first determine who owns the land, and if that's not you, gain permission from the local council or from the private landholder to plant there.
Also, check if there is a plan to follow for the site? E.g. An Open Space Plan of Management.
Think about the environmental outcomes of your planting, and get advice to determine what types of plants or other activities will achieve the best results. Where there is a healthy community of native plants already in existence at or near the site you should find out whether other ways of encouraging these native plants and seeds to spread and grow would be better than introducing new plants (for example bush regeneration, brush-matting or fencing to keep off grazing stock). You can download a Planting Guide produced by the Australian Association of Bush Regenerators.
Decide on a date. If National Tree Day, or Schools Tree Day are not an ideal time to plant trees in your area, you could consider a different date that suits your region. Tree Day activities can take place on any date just remember to register with us!
Also, Tree Day is not just about tree planting. You can register a number of other activities such as follow-up maintenance at your planting site, bush regeneration, interpretive walks and seed collecting.For more information check out our How to Guides.
What do I need to do after the day?
Please let us know how your event went.
- How many trees, shrubs and groundcovers were planted at your site?
- How many volunteers helped out?
- Can any volunteers help out with watering and weeding over the coming weeks?
- Did everyone sign the 'Volunteer Registration Forms'?
The easiest option is to log your results online from your coordinator profile.
After Care and Maintenance
Make sure some of your site volunteers (or perhaps a school, Scout, Guide or Lions group) can water the seedlings on a regular basis until they get established (8 weeks or longer if conditions are dry).
If you plant them, you need to look after them. It's a great opportunity to watch them grow!
You can register additional dates for follow-up visits to your site. Remember Tree Day is not just about tree planting. You can register for a range of activities such as follow-up maintenance at your planting site, bush regeneration, interpretive walks and seed collecting.
You could also take pictures for a photo-diary to document the progress of your site. It's a good idea to take the photos from the same spot over a period of months or even years.
Celebrate your achievements! But please don't forget to look after the plants after Tree Day.
I am not available to participate on Schools Tree Day or National Tree Day. Can I pick another day?
Yes. At Planet Ark, we believe every day is Tree Day and we know the July dates may not be an ideal time to plant trees in your area. Also you may wish to register additional Tree Day activities for follow-up maintenance at your planting site, such as weeding and watering. If conditions are not suitable for planting due to drought etc, there are many other activities you can do under the banner of Tree Day.
That is why we are happy to offer you, your group, town or region, the
option of (Your Town) Tree Day or (Your Region) Tree Day.
Planet Ark has arranged volunteer insurance cover for all National Tree Day participants throughout the year.
This cover extends year round for any registered National Tree Day activity and is valid only for those participants that have signed a Volunteer Registration Form (apart from school plantings where students are recorded on the class roll). The activity must also be registered with Planet Ark as a National Tree Day event.
Where do I get my native plants?Site coordinators arrange the plants for Tree Day sites. It's important to try and source local native plants for the to ensure the best environmental outcomes for your site. Please make sure you make enquiries early to source your plants in time. All registered Site Coordinators are eligible to apply for a Seedling Bank Grant for their project, which provides financial assistance to Schools and Community groups to purchase seedlings from their local nursery - Two rounds are offered each year. Sign up for our newsletters to be notified when applications open.
How can I manage volunteer numbers?
If you run a busy public site and need to plan catering and equipment supplies or to control the number of people attending your site, you can utilise the RSVP section on your site registration page. You can choose to enter a contact name, phone number and/or email address just for RSVPs. Note that your email address will be hidden from public view for your security and volunteers will respond using our contact form.
Please login to the Coordinator Hub to view your RSVPs and messages.
If you find your site reaches capacity there is a drop-down option that you can choose to note this on your registration. This will prevent any more volunteers from being able to register at your site. Alternatively contact Tree day support team email us and we can remove your site details from our Find a Site listing.
How do I register my site?
Registration includes a simple online form. Go here to get started.
What planning do I need to do?
Here are some things to consider when planning your Tree Day site
Planting and preparation:
- What types of plants are native to the local area?
- Where will you plant the trees, shrubs, and grasses
- How many native trees, shrubs or grasses can you plant at your site? It's a good idea to have a mix of different plant types to create a healthy, more balanced ecosystem.
- What about seedling pick up/delivery, and transportation to the site?
- Does the site need preparation? eg. weeding, rotary hoeing, fertilising, mulching? Council may be able to assist.
- Think about any potential hazards and take steps to minimise the risk of an accident occurring. Download a risk assessment sheet.
- Do you have a COVID safe event plan in place?
- What follow-up activities will the plants need? Remember, young plants will need watering until their roots get established (at least 8-12 weeks, or longer if it doesn't rain). You could register additional activities at your site for follow-up visits to weed and mulch around your plants.
- How many volunteers will you need and for how long?
- Do you have enough Volunteer Registration Forms and have you read the section on Volunteer Insurance?
- Is there car parking space for your volunteers?
- Perhaps your local Lions or Rotary Club will help you out with a sausage or vegeburger sizzle?
Remember to tell your volunteers what they need to bring (eg clothing, gloves, sturdy footwear, equipment, drinks & snacks etc), whether they need to RSVP and what you will be providing.
Equipment and Supplies - You will need to source / bring:
- Signage to help volunteers find your planting site
- Native trees, shrubs or grass seedlings
- Mulch - very important! Mulch helps to reduce competition from weeds and prevents loss of moisture from the soil
- Trowels or small shovels, picks and mallets to drive in stakes (you can also ask people to bring their own)
- Gardening gloves (you can also ask people to bring their own)
- Wheelbarrows for transporting seedlings, equipment and mulch
- Stakes and tree guards or used milk cartons to protect seedlings
- Access to a water source (or take your own water to the site)
- Garden hoses, watering cans or buckets for watering
- Rubbish bins or bags to keep the site clean
- A first aid kit and qualified first-aider
- Card or picnic tables for the volunteer registration desk
- Sufficient Volunteer Registration Forms and pens
- An Accident/Incident Report Form
- You can download these forms here
Remember to tell your volunteers to wear sturdy footwear, long pants, gloves, a hat and bring sun protection. Make sure people know that they can just turn up on the day and that planting will proceed rain, hail or shine!
Who else can help me?
Tree Day is a community event which brings many individuals and organisations together to support and celebrate our natural environment. Here are some leads as to who might help with your site:
Toyota is a major sponsor of Tree Day. Some Toyota dealerships are happy to provide refreshments, tree guards, stakes, mulch and/or cover the cost of seedlings. Some Toyota staff have even spent a day doing ground preparation for Schools Tree Day Sites. Just remember each dealership is is an independent franchise so talk to your nearest Toyota Dealer to find out if they are participating in Tree Day and if they can help with your site.
Local community groups and service clubs (eg Lions, Rotary, Apex, RSLs etc) may provide support in the form of refreshments or even a BBQ for volunteers or help on the ground. Some groups may donate funds for seedlings or mulch, arrange tools, provide signage, or help with set up and marshalling on the day.
- Lions Clubs are key supporters of Tree Day. Any requests for Lions BBQs need to be made by one month prior to your event for National Tree Day activities.
Involve your local sports club. Maybe there's a local game being played and you could ask the players and spectators to lend a hand?
Ask local businesses to assist with your site. They may be able to help you pay for your seedlings, mulch or other supplies for the day such as gloves and trowels or food and drinks. Think broadly - local hardware shops, milk bars, cafes, supermarkets, produce stores, butchers shops, bakeries, fruit and veg stores may all be able to contribute 'in kind' donations.
Know a local group of musicians, a clown, a wildlife handler or a performer who could add to your event? A live performance always goes well with a BBQ when all the plants are in the ground.
Approach a local Park Ranger or Bushcare Officer (or rep from the Botanical Gardens, Landcare, Greening Australia, Trees For Life (SA), Men of the Trees (WA) or other reputable environmental agency) to give a talk, demonstration or workshop for your participants.
Tree Day is a great opportunity to spread messages about caring for habitat. Perhaps you can locate an Environmental educator to run environmental games and activities as part of your Tree Day event.
You can also register a request for assistance or see what help is available on our Available Resources web pages.
If you gain worthwhile support, be sure to let us know when you enter your results!
What do I need to do on the day?
Allocate on-the-day tasks, which could include at a minimum:
- Someone to position the seedlings. Do this early to ensure that plants go in the ground where you want them to!
- Make sure volunteers know where to go when they arrive.
- Allocate someone to coordinate volunteer registration form / process. This must be completed by all volunteers for insurance purposes. A digital sign in QR code based Volunteer registration form or paper based version is available should there be no internet in your area
- Organise / setup dedicated first aid area. (Pre-arranged first aiders to be on hand with access to a first aid kit.
- Organise someone to demonstrate how to plant and to oversee the planting and Occupational Health and Safety on the site.
- Someone to take photos (maybe before and after shots and revisit the site a few months later).
- Someone to organise the refreshments.
- Get someone to call the local media and check they're coming.
Planting demonstrations for volunteers! Show your volunteers how to plant trees, shrubs or grasses and make sure they are comfortable with this before you leave them to plant on their own. It is vital that you do this to make sure your plants get the best possible start in life! Common issues are digging holes too small and damaging roots when removing seedlings from their pots.
What about accidents and incidents?
In case of an accident, act responsibly and logically. If the accident is serious, or you are in any doubt please call an ambulance or doctor.
Where can I find a planting site?
I'm a teacher who is new to Tree Day, what do I do?
First, visit the Schools section of the Tree day website site. If you want to find out how to organise a site, download the Schools How to Guide. This should give you a comprehensive introduction to Schools Tree Day. Or send us a Zendesk message and one of our team will be in touch!
Does Planet Ark supply us with trees for our site?
Site Coordinators need to source their own seedling, trees, and plants for their sites. See Where can I get plants? for ideas. Visit our Offers of resource section in your coordinator profile to see available resources in your area.
Volunteers don't need to source seedling, trees, and plants, etc you are just volunteering your time to carry out the planting!
Where can I get plants?
Site coordinators arrange the plants for Tree Day sites. It's important to try and source local native plants for the to ensure the best environmental outcomes for your site. Read more about Local Provenance.
Planet Ark can help you locate suitable nurseries and provide contacts at your local council to find local native seedlings. Find out what kind of plants are native to your area, which ones would be suitable for your site and where to get them. Here are some leads to follow:
- Your local council. Usually your local Bushcare or Environmental Officer has the most up-to-date information on local suppliers of indigenous plants, and many councils have their own native nursery and may give seedlings away to schools and community groups for Tree Day plantings. They can also advise about where would be a good place to plant trees and they may know of local nurseries and environmental groups who can help you. Please get in touch with councils early to avoid disappointment. Contact us to find out who to talk to at your local council.
- Local environmental groups can offer advice and assistance in sourcing plants eg Landcare, Coastcare, Bushcare (click on "Bushcare Volunteering") and Greening Australia.
- Local community or native nurseries. Many councils support community nurseries who specialize in propagating local native species from seed. Call your council for assistance with finding a local nursery that specializes in native plants local to you.
- To learn more about native flora and find groups in your area,
visit the national website of the Australian Native Plants Society. The ANPSA are a national organisation but they have regional and district groups that can be contacted if you need additional advice.
Please make sure you make enquiries early to source your plants in time.
What type of plants should we use?
Planet Ark recommends that you only plant local natives. Local natives are perfectly suited to the local soil type and climate, and they're also great for wildlife. Other plants, even if they are Australian natives (but not local to your area) risk becoming a weed. To find out the plant species which are native to your local area call your council or consult a local Landcare group.
What is a site coordinator?
The site coordinator is the person responsible for organising the Tree Day event. They are responsible for registering their site with Planet Ark, sourcing plants, organising the provision of tools and equipment, ensuring that the suitable forms are completed by students' parents or guardians and in the general coordination of the day. They are also responsible for the ongoing site maintenance and ensuring all the plants are looked after properly.
What do I do after I register?
When you first register, you are registering yourself as a site coordinator only. This means that you have given us your contact details and been sent your login details, but you still need to add your site to be insured and included in the National Tree Day results. Log in (using the details emailed) and go to your Coordinator Hub page and follow the steps provided.
Do I have to plant on the actual School Tree Day date?
No. Schools are not restricted to Planet Ark's insured dates - you can plant at any time that suits your local weather conditions and your curriculum!
Note: Your school's insurance must cover tree planting activities if you plant on a date that is not insured by Planet Ark.
Do I need to provide a photo release for the students?
If your school has a 'blanket media release' for your students, just let us know and we'll note it on your records.
How much of my donation is going directly to the beneficiary groups of Seedling Bank grants?
Planet Ark will pass on approximately 75% of funds as grants, directly to schools and community groups. Approximately 25% will be retained by Planet Ark to cover administration costs.
If I am successful in securing a grant, how will I receive my funding?
Planet Ark will pay the invoice of your seedling order (and any necessary equipment, max 10% of total grant amount).
Do I need to be a registered National Tree Day coordinator to apply for a grant?
The Seedling Bank grants are available to registered National Tree Day coordinators only. It’s quick, easy and free to register as a coordinator.
If I am successful in securing a grant, what reporting will I be required to produce?
Media assets, including photos of your planting event and progress shots of the site.
Seedling information, including the final number planted and the survival rate.
Feedback on the program and an impact statement, outlining how the grant assisted your group's revegetation efforts.
When and how will I find out if my application has been approved?
We aim to contact all applicants within 2 weeks of the closing date, (Round 2: closing 19th February 2021), informing them if their application was successful or not. Applicants will be contacted via email.
Do I have to plant on National Tree Day official dates?
No, you can plant on any day in 2021. Whilst The Seedling Bank is an initiative of National Tree Day, planting does not have to occur on official dates (July/August this year). We recognise planting conditions are optimal at different times of year around Australia, so please plant at a time most suited to your local area to ensure high survival rate.
If my Seedling Bank grant application is rejected, can I apply again in the future?
Absolutely. You can apply for funding as many times as you like, even if your past applications were unsuccessful.