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Operation ReLeaf

tree planting

Offering residential utility customers in Iowa the opportunity to purchase landscape trees at discount prices

This partnership initiative is funded by Alliant Energy and administered by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry, in partnership with the conservation boards of host counties.

Since 2001, more than 62,265 new trees have been planted throughout the state of Iowa during 189 Operation ReLeaf events.

How Operation ReLeaf helps communities

  • Residential customers save energy by planting trees to shade their homes or to create a wind break.
  • Local nurseries can provide low-cost, high-quality and diverse landscape trees to the community.
  • Improved long-term community reforestation and energy conservation through efficient landscaping.
  • Communities and counties hard hit by storm damage can receive flexible and responsive help in re-planting efforts.

How does it work?

Approximately 2,800 high-quality three- to eight-foot landscaping trees are offered for only $25 each during the spring and fall planting seasons. The trees, which retail for $65 to $125, are sold at on a first-come, first-served basis. They are purchased though a bidding process from local Iowa nurseries.

Eligibility and how to participate

Operation ReLeaf participants must be Alliant Energy customers in Iowa and willing to pick-up their tree(s) on the day of distribution in their designated region. There is a limit of two trees per household, per planting season.

Advance reservation is required. Fees paid for tree(s) not picked up on the designated distribution day will be considered a donation.  Operation ReLeaf tree planting

Tree planting workshop

Proper planting is essential to raising a healthy tree. Learn how to properly plant and care for your new tree at the tree planting workshop available at some locations during the pickup event. Watch the steps and find out what you need to make your tree thrive. Experts will be available to answer your questions.

Operation ReLeaf locations

Before you order, you can determine the best location to plant your tree(s) to have the most energy efficiency impact by using this simple tool: http://www.itreetools.org/design.php. Note: iTree Design works best with Google Chrome.

Click on the link and follow these easy steps:

  • Enter your address and click “go”
  • Fill in the boxes on the left, leaving tree condition at excellent, click on the “Check here to evaluate energy effects” box
  • Outline your house using the tool on the top of the page, click on the tree icon and move cursor around to see the benefits before you place your tree
  • Click on “Continue & Estimate Full Benefits” to see the benefits your tree will provide

Upcoming events

Spring 2015

Clayton County – Elkader
Partner: Clayton County Conservation Board
Location: Osbourne Nature Center
29862 Osborne Road, Elkader, Iowa 52043
Date: Thursday, May 26
Time: 4 - 6 p.m.
Tree Planting and Care workshop: 5 p.m.
Download order form

Hancock County – Garner
Partner: City of Garner
Location: Concord Park (Intersection of Sioux Ave and Concord Way) in Garner
Date: Thursday, May 19
Time: 4:30 - 6 p.m.
Download order form

Hardin County – Iowa Falls
Partner: Friends of Calkins Nature Center
Location: Calkins Nature Center, 18335 - 135th Street, Iowa Falls, IA 50126
Date: Wednesday, April 20
Time: 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Download order form

Keokuk County – Sigourney
Partner: Keokuk County Extension and Outreach
Location: Keokuk County Fairgrounds (22400 220th Ave, Suite A) in Sigourney
Date: Wednesday, May 11
Time: 4 - 6 p.m.
Download order form

Linn County – Marion
Partner: Linn County Conservation Board
Location: Squaw Creek Park, 4305 Squaw Lane, Marion
Saturday, May 21,
Time: 7:30 a.m. - 9 a.m.
Download order form

Marion County – Otley
Partner: Marion County Conservation Board
Location: Cordova Park, 1378 Highway G28, Otley, Iowa 50214
Date: Thursday, May 12
Time: 4 - 6 p.m.
Download order form

Union County – Afton
Partner: Union County Conservation Board
Location: Three Mile Lake Campground (1542 Campground Road) in Afton.
Date: Saturday, Thursday, April 21
Time: 4:30 - 6 p.m.
Tree Planting and Care workshop: 5:15 p.m.
Download order form

Wapello County – Ottumwa
Partner: City of Ottumwa
Location: Beach Ottumwa parking lot at 101 Church street, Ottumwa.
Date: Saturday, May 7
Time: 8 - 10 a.m.
Workshop: 9 a.m. 
Download order form

Contact information

Laura Wagner
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
502 East 9th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319

Phone: 515-725-8456
Fax: 515-725-8201
Email: laura.wagner@dnr.iowa.gov