Planting Forward

Planting Forward

Planting Forward for Woodlands: Tree Pick up is Saturday, April 13 9AM-1PM at 4970 Lakeside Rd, Marion.  

New: this spring we are offering 3 gallon, 5 gallon, and 7 gallon trees.

Spring 2024 Species Information

woodlands species list


New here? This is how the program works:

With the support of generous private donors, we have made native trees available at wholesale cost to Linn County landowners.  Trees are available in spring and fall; delivered to our facilities in 3, 5, and 7 gallon options.  Delivery is available on orders of 25 trees or more;  maximum of 150 trees per landowner.

  • Review the species list, linked above. Consider deer protection (fencing is available on the order)
  • Consider Oak Trees – the importance of native Iowa Oak trees cannot be overstated. This keystone tree provides food for hundreds of species, pollinators, birds, and other wildlife.
  • Share information – consider combining an order with neighbors or family members if you need to meet the minimum delivery option (25 trees)
  • Limited quantities – order early to ensure species availability. When a species quantity is gone the option will no longer show on the order form.
  • Planting and Care – this is a critical part of the program’s success. Planting Care, and Tips are linked on this page and will be shared at pickup/delivery.


Program History: On August 10, 2020 Cedar Rapids, IA was struck by a derecho, destroying over 50% of our tree canopy and damaging over 8,000 homes. This storm system affected 340 communities in 27 counties in Iowa.  

The DNR has estimated Linn County tree loss at 950,000. This overwhelming green infrastructure loss prompted MR and its partners to focus on turbo-charging tree recovery, along with native pollinator habitats, through this Planting Forward initiative.

Monarch Research was formed with the strong belief that responding to the overwhelming environmental challenges faced globally, requires a response locally. Planting Forward is not only a response to the derecho disaster but also an opportunity to restore thousands of native trees to our canopy supporting hundreds of native species. In fact, native trees are truly the cornerstone of environmental health.

The program was created with two main goals:

  • Replanting all derecho-impacted land in Linn County with high-quality native trees.
  • Educating residents on proper tree care and the value that only native trees provide to the environment, pollinators, and people.

Why Native Trees?

Native trees have evolved in Iowa alongside our native animal species. All native animals and insects depend on native species to survive. The trees offered by MR, especially Oaks, serve as food sources to native Iowa pollinators, birds, and wildlife.  Many of the trees offered in the Planting Forward program are considered keystone trees.

Planting Forward: A corporate regrowth and recovery program for Cedar Rapids and surrounding communities.

Planting Forward For Woodlands

Learn ‘How to Plant a Tree’ by watching the video from our nursery partner, Forrest Keeling. Click on the linked images below.


Transforming an Acorn into an Oak: As part of the Planting Forward initiative, Monarch Research hosted a webinar that provided a ‘recipe’ for anyone wanting to grow an oak from an acorn. You can view the webinar by clicking here, and click here to download the acorn planting instructions!

One Child, One Tree Program

Monarch Research Collaborates with Local Healthcare Providers to Offer Free Native Trees to New Parents in Linn County

Monarch Research is excited to announce a collaboration with two leading healthcare providers to launch the One Child, One Tree program, offering a free native tree to new parents in Linn County. This initiative is an extension of Monarch Research’s successful Planting Forward program, which was developed in response to the devastation caused by the 2020 derecho. Learn more.

Planting Forward Program Partners

MR partners with landowners, schools, hospitals, neighborhood associations, historical sites, and local governments in Linn County, to distribute trees to employees.

MR will also assist partner organizations in communicating program details to their employees, including tree species details and registration options.

An overview of Planting Forward will be included in the program participation materials.  In this overview, participants will learn about the importance of native trees for environmental, land stewardship, pollinator, and native plant community ecological consideration.

In addition, program guidelines along with required commitments for tree planting and care will be provided.

Tree Delivery

Monarch Research will work with Partners to source a variety of native Iowa trees for distribution.  Partners will care for the trees until the distribution is complete.

Depending on each company’s program, participants may receive up to three trees, tree wrap, a watering bucket, and both first and second-year planting and care instructions.

Tree Planting and Care

Participant use of trees: own property, or derecho impacted neighbor, family member, or local non-profit.  However, the participant who received the tree is responsible for educating anyone given a tree with program materials and proper planting and care instruction (These are found under References above).

The ideal planting season for these trees is early to mid-April or early to mid-Fall.

If your company is interested in participating or you would like more information, please use the CONTACT button above and let us know.