Local Nonprofit Cares for Edina’s Canopy with Donated Trees

by | Apr 2019

A tree donated by Trees From Refined sits in the yard of an Edina home.

Trees From Refined, a tree donation non-profit, launched in 2018, donated 100 trees throughout Edina in its first year. Photos: Trees from Refined

Local home builder plans to plant trees.

Now that emerald ash borer has been confirmed in Edina, it is important to watch for signs of trouble. Read how to spot emerald ash borer in your tree here.

Do you ever walk down the street and look up, taking in the beauty that is the robust tree canopy throughout Edina? It’s something many take for granted because you can’t recall a time without it. But not Andy Porter, managing partner at Refined Custom Homes. He and his wife were out walking their dog one evening and took notice of the tree canopy, but then realized the trees weren’t what they use to be. Many of the trees were diseased and weathered. Porter wondered what the community was doing to replace dying trees. He wanted to see the tree canopy maintained for generations to come and so decided to take matters into his own hands. Trees From Refined was born.

Trees From Refined, a tree donation nonprofit, launched in 2018, donated 100 trees throughout Edina in its first year. “Newly planted trees require a lot of water so the idea was to get people to donate property for new trees. All we ask in return is that they water the tree and watch it grow,” Porter says. Fifteen trees were added to Edina parks, with the remainder going to local residents.

Those interested in receiving a tree submit an application requesting up to two trees and select from three types—maple, oak and linden. Porter and team worked with Bachman’s to identify trees that face little to no threat from disease, hoping to ensure each will be around for years to come. Selected applicants receive an email confirmation and a mailed packet of details. Color-coordinated flags are provided so property owners can specify where they want each tree planted. Affiliated experts will adjust as needed to ensure the tree can thrive.

Trees From Refined

Last spring, the organization’s landscape partner, Southview Design, sent out teams of three to plant the 100 donated trees throughout Edina. Once planted, a watering schedule is provided and each tree comes with a Trees From Refined plaque.

In 2019, Trees From Refined plans to donate 200 trees with the help of additional funding. “These are not saplings,” Porter says. “Depending on the variety, the trees range in height from 10 to 16 feet tall.” The application process opened on March 1 and 75 trees are already allocated to those who applied in 2018 but didn’t receive a tree. While trees are currently being planted only in Edina, the goal is to grow the number of trees being offered each year and expand the project to surrounding cities.

For more information about Trees From Refined and to submit an application, visit their website.


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