People for Trees™

Make a difference in your own backyard.

Trees inspire, nurture, heal and protect.

This fall, Taiwanese- American children’s book and editorial illustrator Julia Kuo helps Holden Forests & Gardens’ People for Trees movement write a love letter to trees through a Tree Appreciation campaign, featuring a series of vibrant, moving images created by the artist. This custom imagery showcases why we love trees, and why our tree-planting initiative is so important to Northeast Ohio.

Each week, one new image from the series will be released on social media. Be sure to like and share our posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to show your support for People for Trees. We look forward to hearing how trees inspire, nurture, heal and protect you and your loved ones.

To date, 1,100 pledges have committed to planting more than 3,800 trees in Northeast Ohio. To those who have already pledged: thank you for your involvement to growing our regional tree canopy. If you haven’t yet, click here to make your pledge today!

Check out more about artist Julia Kuo in our featured Q&A blog. This tree art will be available for purchase in our botanical garden and arboretum gifts shops in the coming months. Sign up for our enewsletter for the latest information.

We’re aiming to plant and care for 15,000 new trees in Northeast Ohio by 2025—but we need your help.

Make the pledge today, and your community will reap the benefits tomorrow! (Plus, we’ll be here to provide resources and support along the way.)  

Make the pledge and receive tree selection and information kits that’ll answer the most common questions:

  • Which trees are best to plant in Northeast Ohio?  
  • Where do I purchase my tree? 
  • When and where should I plant it?  
  • How do I take care of it? 
  • Please enter a number from 1 to 10.
  • By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: The Holden Arboretum, 9550 Sperry Road, Kirtland, OH, 44094, US, You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.

Trees Inspire Us. Let’s Enjoy Them

Trees are wonder-filled, joy-giving, awe-inspiring plants. Every person has some sort of relationship to trees, whether it be from collecting acorns as a child, basking in the shade on a warm fall day, or the sacred relationship with trees that many cultures are formed by and practice.

What if we realized that jumping in a leaf pile, admiring autumn colors, or simply taking a deep breath are all ways to form relationship with and enjoy trees?

How do trees make your life better?

How are you inspired by trees?

Some ways trees inspire us:

  • They produce wonder and happiness for all generations and people
  • They provide beauty in all seasons … the Magnolia grandiflora illustrated is a spring flowering tree, but even as flowers and green leaves fade, amazing pigments emerge in Autumn.
  • Trees are the muse of poets and artists
    • Learn about a local artist who uses art to inspire nature connection, historic preservation, and conservation of trees
  • Forested areas inspire activity by making our communities more pleasant places to spend time
  • Magnolias—such as the Large Flowered “Daybreak” Magnolia featured on this poster— inspire us. Learn about this wonderful tree here.

How to enjoy trees:

  • Wonder at the diversity of cool types of trees that thrive in NEOH
  • Observe trees in their autumn glory!
  • Learn about how to make the inspiration of trees available to everyone—especially communities who can benefit the most
  • Recreation, rest, and a reading list
    • Everyone re-charges in a different way. Enjoy trees in your recreation time:
      • Tree Feasts for Foodies: Have you ever appreciated how when you take a bite or a sip of something you enjoy, you may be benefiting from trees? Autumn is the season of ripening fruit and nuts in Ohio! Visit an orchard or try some seasonal tree-produce at your local farmers’ market.
      • Recommended Reading List: here are a few books on plants and trees that inspire us  
        • Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer
        • Vitamin N: The Essential Guide to a Nature-Rich Life: 500 Ways to Enrich Your Family’s Health & Happiness by Richard Louv

Trees Heal Us, Let’s Keep Them Healthy

Verdant and creative, trees are living medicine for our bodies, communities, and planet.

What if, by keeping trees healthy, we brought health to our communities?

What if we valued trees as living beings that benefit from care and pay us back for it?

How can we create a healthier canopy in the Forest City region?

Trees heal us. They…

  • Reduce rates of heart-disease and hypertension
    • Research suggests that trees elevate mood and have a calming effect, while also reducing stress and heart rate, aiding the circulatory system.
  • Keep us healthy by increasing air quality, thus reducing effects of asthma
  • Improve healing after illness or surgery
  • Provide medicine in countless ways
    • Linden trees—featured here with the native Tilia americana—are a group of species famous for their medicinal properties, including leaves and flowers that can be prepared as an herbal anxiety relief and powerful sleep aid.

How to Keep Trees Healthy:

Trees Nurture Us. Let’s Nurture Them.

Think of a time when you have been nurtured: the words that may come to mind about the person caring for you may include kind, generous or encouraging. In so many ways, the tree community around us offers just this.

Trees Nurture us by…

  • Providing habitat and food/nectar for pollinators and migrating birds
  • Give respite from the heat through shade and cooling
  • Combat the effects of urban heat islands in Cleveland and other urban centers
  • Reduce crime rates in neighborhoods
  • Provide healthy food in the form of a variety of nuts and fruits
  • This Tupelo is a species of tree that nurtures wildlife in our forests and people in our communities. Learn more here.

Ways To Nurture Trees

  • Autumn is an ideal time for planting in Northeast Ohio–especially container trees.
  • Select the Right Tree for the Right Place — enough room for roots to grow and thrive, enough room for canopy to grow without interfering with roads, buildings, overhead wires etc.

Trees Protect Us, Let’s Protect Them.

Trees are majestic living beings which protect all kinds of life as they offer us shelter, shield us from weather, and alleviate the effects of a warming planet. For all they offer people, these gifts can be forfeited if we make the mistake of seeing trees only as a leafy backdrop to human activities.

What if, instead, we saw trees as majestic protectors and community members to be valued and treasured?

What if we offered trees just a fraction of the protection they offer us? What if we realized that we thrive when trees thrive?

Here are ways that Trees Protect Us:

  • Mitigate the effects of a changing climate.
  • Shelter us and provide jobs through timber from managed woodlands.
  • Absorb CO2; Sequester carbon
  • Trap pollutants in soil and leaves
  • Provide shade and protection from wind
  • Intercept rainwater, acting as reservoirs
  • The majestic White Oak is a champion in Northeast Ohio, protecting hundreds of species of butterfly, moth, mammal and bird by providing habitat, while mature White Oaks in Cleveland neighborhoods deliver innumerable environmental services. Learn more about the species here.

Cleveland’s trees…

  • Remove 830,000 lbs of air pollutants each year.
  • Store 1.3 million tons of carbon in their woody tissue over their lifetime.
  • Intercept 1.8 billion gallons of stormwater from rain every year.
  • See more about Cleveland community tree benefits here.

These benefits multiply as a tree grows; bigger trees mean exponentially greater benefits over time. All of these benefits result in healthier people and relieve loads on our electric grid, storm & sewer systems and us!

Let’s become People for Trees. Here are ways you can Protect Trees:

  • Drought … through proper watering
  • Construction … through proper planning to avoid soil compaction or damage to limbs or roots
  • Salt Damage… through planting away from roads, planting salt tolerant varieties, or flushing away salt with water
  • Over-mulching … by never burying the root flare
  • Mower and string-trimmer damage … by mulching out 3 feet from the base
  • Disease, decline, and conflict with humans … by choosing the right tree for the right place

See the complete guide to Tree Protection here

Make the Pledge

Donate today

Make a contribution that will go toward planting trees in Cleveland neighborhoods or make a general donation to the People for Trees initiative and support education, community forestry projects, and scientific research.

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