Plant a Tree for Clean Air

Did you know trees are the most effective air purifiers on earth? They are experts at capturing airborne particles and absorbing toxic pollutants in the air. And aside from cleaning the air, trees also cool the air and clean our soil. And fruit bearing trees not only provide cleaner air, but also create sustainable food sources.

So you can see why tree planting has its benefits. But how do you go about planting a tree?

1. Volunteer with an organization dedicated to planting trees in your area.
2. Purchase a tree with some friends or family and plant it yourself!

There are many benefits to volunteer tree planting. You don’t have to research trees or climate. You don’t have to find all the tools. You just show up and lend a hand! Check out a few of our favorite organizations and find your match!

Planting on your own
Are you more of a do-it-yourself-er? Then you might enjoy taking the reins and planting a tree on your own! So here’s how to plant your very own tree!

First, pick a place. Maybe it’s just your backyard, or maybe your neighborhood or school would like to get in on the action. Wherever you’re planting, do your homework—find out which trees will be best for the area you’re planting. Trees Atlanta has a list of tree suggestions and a list of questions to ask yourself before you plant: Right Tree, Right Place.

What you’ll need:

  • a tree sapling
  • shovels
  • a watering can or hose
  • mulch
  • compost or compost manure (optional)


  • Prepare the hole. Dig a hole that is two to three times wider than the width of the tree’s root ball. Then, create a pedestal by making the edges of the hole deeper than the middle. This should give the tree a place to rest and the roots a chance to grow downward as well.
  • Prepare the tree. If it’s a small tree, you can probably just gently turn it upside down and shift it out of its pot. If it’s a medium or larger tree, the roots may be housed in a net or burlap bag, which may call for large scissors or a sharp knife. When cutting out the root ball, make sure to leave as much dirt around the roots as possible.
  • Gently place the tree into the hole. When you place it, the top of the root ball should be level with top of the hole. That means none of the root ball should be sticking out of the hole, but the ball also shouldn’t be deeper than the level of the undisturbed ground.
  • Cover the hole. When covering the hole, you may need to use some compost or composted manure the current soil is not rich enough. Make sure that you cover all of the tree’s root balls. But, do bury the crown (where the stem changes to root).
  • Water the newly planted tree. Water one gallon for ever six inches of tree height. Then, cover the upturned dirt with mulch. Follow by watering again.

And voila, you’ve got a new tree! Keep watering it for the first few years while it gets established, and watch your natural air purifier grow!

Remember to upload a photo of your tree planting into the AirCreds tool for a whopping 20 points per tree!