Using Seedlings As Wedding Favors and Gifts
Using seedlings as wedding favors is a great symbolic gesture, but the process needs to be handled carefully. How the tree has been grown is often the most important factor, because the traditional June wedding season is often very late to be planting trees. For this reason and several others, evergreen plug seedlings are the best option for wedding favors.
We can reserve these seedlings in your name, keep them in excellent condition, and ship them just in time for your big day! We can ship very early and late in Spring and Fall due to both the portability and naturally longer “shelf life” of an evergreen plug seedling. We mean can move trays of plug seedlings indoors to gently thaw out and ship at a time when traditional “bare root” seedlings are still locked into the frozen ground.
Just be sure to pick a ship date which allows enough time between the delivery date and the event date so that you have time to prepare the wedding seedling favors as needed. We can help you with this planning, just ask!
June/July/August Wedding Procedures
Although we do a fairly large number of wedding events, we no longer ship trees in June/July/August. UPS trucks can get quite hot in the summer sun, and the chance of failure and deathification of your trees during transit goes way up.
Instead what we do for weddings during the summer months is ship your plug seedlings still in their styrofoam growing trays, towards the end of May, at the very end of our Spring shipping season. When your trees arrive, simply unbox them and set the tray[s] of trees outdoors in the cool grass in fresh air and partial shade, such as underneath a tree, and make sure that they do not dry out or struggle for moisture. Your trees will need water every day or three depending on how hot or dry or windy your local conditions are. Move the tray[s] around a bit every few days so that you don’t smother a patch of your lawn. The trees may still be actively growing at this time, since many species of evergreen are still growing through the month of June, which is why good moisture levels are important. But don’t let this intimidate you, the trees will not need additional fertilizer etc. and so people are often quite surprised at how easy it is to keep the trees very happy.
We can also include all of the individual packaging materials, but then you would do the actual packaging yourself a few days before the wedding. Although doing this individual packaging work would now be your responsibility, we can provide the individual plastic bags for FREE, and the other types of materials with no markup at our end. These new summer policies are continuing to change as needed, so if you have questions, just ask!
Recommended Seedlings For Weddings:
We highly recommend evergreen plug seedlings for use as eco friendly wedding favors, trade show seedling giveaways and corporate event green gifts because of their longer “shelf life” as compared to “bare root” seedlings and transplants. The roots of evergreen plug seedlings are grown much like a flat of flowers, and have permeated a 4 to 5 inch tall cigar-shaped “plug” of soil comprised of a combination of natural sphagnum moss and other organic material. This plug provides the little tree with a continuous source of water and nutrients, which reduces stress on the plant during shipping and planting…in a sense, they are never really really “dug up”. This also gives them a head start for the next growing season because their roots are in undisturbed soil and are ready to start putting on new growth. Plug seedlings can also be shipped 9 months of the year. Bare root evergreen seedlings and bare root evergreen transplants, although more economical, cannot be harvested or planted in the winter. Unless you have good reasons otherwise, we recommend that you buy evergreen plug seedlings for your wedding.
Our current “supercute list” for weddings and other events [updated Feb 2024]:
Canaan Fir plug seedlings [not well known but an excellent choice, good as far south as zone 7]
Colorado Blue Spruce plug seedlings [very popular and traditional, good as far south as zone 6]
Eastern Red Cedar plug seedlings [pretty but a bit prickly, good as far south as zone 9]
Fraser Fir plug seedlings [very popular for weddings, can grow into zone 7]
Norway Spruce plug seedlings [popular and fast growing, good as far south as zone 6]
Red Pine plug seedlings [long needles, adaptable like a swiss army knife, good as far south as zone 7]
White Cedar plug seedlings [pretty and soft, tall and a bit floppy, very adaptable, good as far south as zone 9]
White Pine plug seedlings [long needles, MI state tree, good as far south as zone 7]
White Spruce plug seedlings [super cute, taller and faster growing than other spruces, can handle exceedingly cold zones 3-6]
Bare root evergreen seedlings are a less expensive option, but are only available in season, late Sept thru early November, and late March thru end of May. Colorado Blue Spruce seedlings, Balsam Fir seedlings and Serbian Spruce seedlings are always good choices, since they are easy to handle, are not bushy or bulky, and are cute pretty much every year. Availability of bare root seedlings is somewhat more limited.
Wedding Seedlings Packaging Options:
Let us do the time-consuming, dirty prep work for you! The above packaging options, although expensive, will save you hours of prep time due to the amount of labor involved and provide an appealing and CLEAN presentation of your trees at your event. If you’d prefer to do it your own way, below are some photos and descriptions of what others have done.
Individual Plastic Packaging [available for ALL trees]
Individual Gift Bag Packaging [available for ALL trees]
Individual Eco-Friendly Packaging [available for plug seedlings only]
Custom Laser Cut Pendants [seedlings and packaging sold separately]
Ideas for Seedlings as Wedding Favors:
For the convenience of your guests, we recommend that you dunk the roots in water [and wrap a wet paper towel around the roots if “bare root”], insert the roots in a small plastic bag, wrap the plastic bag in craft or tissue paper, and put a bow around the whole thing at the base of the trunk. You then have a very nice, clean and inexpensive gift which you can lay in a basket or on a gift table. You can also add pea gravel or pebbles to the bottom of the bag, which will add weight to the bottom of the bag and allow the bag to stand upright. Just be sure to protect your trees from direct sunlight until they are out of the shipping box and the plastic bags, since the heat generated by direct sunlight on the box or bags can kill the trees in short order. Evergreen transplants are much bigger and bushier, and therefore require more work…but they are certainly a good alternative if you want trees which are more substantial in size.
Pots are another presentation option, but precautions are necessary. Direct sunlight on a small pot can dry out the dirt and/or raise dirt temperature to fatal levels surprisingly quickly. For both plugs and seedlings, you should buy pots that are at least 3 inches wide and 6 inches deep. Place a rag or a folded paper towel in the bottom of the pot, which will allow water to drain while keeping dirt from falling out the bottom and making a mess. For best results, tell your guests to plant their trees as soon as possible.
How Others Prepared Their Wedding Day Trees:
Kelly and Jesse’s wedding:
Rick, I wanted to say THANK YOU again for providing such a wonderful and amazing product for our wedding! Our guests LOVED the trees and we even incorporated one into the ceremony! Since we were married outside we watered a unity tree instead of lighting a unity candle, it was basically fantastic 🙂 I am sending you another email with a few photos. Enjoy!
Kelly and Jesse
Wedding Seedling Favors for Kellie’s wedding:
Kellie did a nifty job preparing her trees for presentation and handout at her wedding. In her own words and pictures:
I bought the fabric for the bags on clearance and made them all myself. We put each tree in a plastic bag and gave it a few squirts of water. We put a scoop of tiny rocks in the bottom of the tree bags [so the bags would stand upright – Ed.] and then inserted the trees. My husband made the labels on his computer. We purchased sheets of business cards, the kind that when you tear them apart, they do not show the perforations…they were amazing!!! On the front of the business card was the name of the guest and their table number. On the back was a ‘coupon’ to get them into a brunch we had the next day. I punched a hole in each corner with a heart shaped hole punch and pulled the ribbon through it and then tied it onto the tree bag. It worked out perfectly and served many purposes.
It was a great and inexpensive gift and it made me very happy to know we were doing something nice for the environment. I also loved the idea of people planting a tree in honor of our wedding. The trees were SUCH a hit. Everyone REALLY loved them and said they had never seen anything like them before. I’ve even had many people come back and give me progress reports on their growth.
I’m so happy you liked the pictures. I was afraid I was bothering you. 🙂 You really helped us out a lot and we were so happy we found you. I’d be happy to recommend your company to anyone I know.
The Poem Kellie Wrote For Her Wedding Day:
Today is a day for love and life.
A beginning for us as husband and wife.
New love needs attention to grow and survive,
And with care and affection, will flourish and thrive.
The same holds true when it comes to a tree,
It needs nourishment and some T.L.C.
In time you will find that this seedling so small,
Will strengthen and grow to be mighty and tall.
The cold winds will blow and the branches will bend,
But a tree that is strong has the power to mend.
Though times may be tough through the course of our years,
We’ll grow stronger together through laughter and tears.
Please keep this young seedling and in some small way,
When you watch as it grows, you’ll remember this day.
You’re the family we love and the friends we hold dear,
And we’re so very happy to have you all here.
Carrie and Tom’s Wedding:
This email from you reminded me that I never THANKED YOU for my order. You sent me 200 Blue Spruce Seedlings for my son’s August 30th wedding (favors). I was very nervous that not only would they not arrive in time…but their condition would not allow me to present them in the way I had planned. Turns out I put myself through all that anxiety for no reason!
*** The trees ARRIVED on the PERFECT day (to allow me time to prepare the favors)
*** The trees arrived in PERFECT CONDITION !!!!
*** The trees were EXACTLY the size I was hoping for !!!!
*** The trees were EXTREMELY healthy little suckers !!!!
I purchased large wine goblets (from my local Dollar Store), & lined the inside with Gold Lame & Glittered Tulle (we had a very formal wedding). Then, I placed each tree in a plastic bag & inserted it inside the wine glass. I ordered “Printed” Satin Ribbon that had the words: “CARRIE & TOM ~~ MAY THIS TREE GROW AS STRONG AS THE LOVE THEY SHARE”…which I tied into bows to hold the trees up-right in the wine glasses….along with the lame & tulle. I also inserted a poem ~ which was rolled into a scroll into the glass.
OUR GUESTS **RAVED** over these favors!!! They turned out better than I had envisioned, and looked SO beautiful on the tables. Many of the guests have told me that the trees they planted after the wedding have actually grown (in just a few short weeks). We had about 10 trees left over, so we planted them in our yard…and they are THRIVING !!! We have not yet seen the pictures from the wedding, but our photographer just contacted us & the proofs are ready. So, once I get them, I will send you a picture of the Tree Favors. Things around here were so hectic before the wedding, I did not get the opportunity to take a picture of the favors…..but I did make sure our Photographer took some ~ because I thought you may want to put an image of them on your website …since they turned out SO WELL !!!!!
Karen Russo (Mother of the Groom)
I wasn’t quite as crafty as the wedding trees featured on your website, however I wanted to share a photo of our wedding trees. Along with each tree, I included a quick set of planting instructions. We had a beautiful wedding day, and I’m very appreciative of the quality product you supplied. All the best to you.
It has been a few months since our wedding back at the end of September and I just wanted to let you know that your seedlings were one of our favorite parts of our wedding. We owe you a big thank you for helping us to figure out which trees to order, how to get the best deal, when to have them arrive so that they’d be in the best shape, etc. So THANK YOU!!! They looked beautiful and everyone loved them. I’ve attached a photo in case it’s useful.