Alliant Energy Branching Out Program Application

Branching Out is a nationally recognized grant program in which Alliant Energy, Trees Forever and your community work together to fund and implement community tree planting projects. The program is designed to encourage energy efficiency, volunteer involvement, environmental awareness and community stewardship in Iowa. Branching Out helps communities plant trees to save energy. It's a team effort. You bring knowledge of your town and hardworking volunteers. Alliant Energy and Trees Forever bring our energy efficiency knowledge, tree-planting expertise and funds to help purchase your trees.
Branching Out is offered exclusively to Iowa communities where Alliant Energy provides electric and/or natural gas services. Alliant Energy provides annual grants of up to $5,000 per community for tree planting plantings. Plant trees where they’ll save energy: at schools or public buildings or along neighborhood streets.  Give special consideration to locations that will benefit underserved or low-income residents. Trees Forever administers the program by providing staff to help community leaders and volunteers complete successful long-lasting projects.  Branching Out funds are for tree purchases only; not shrubs, seedlings, saplings, mulch, labor or other planting costs.

To apply for a Branching Out grant, you are strongly encouraged to use the online application found below.  You may instead request a paper application from Deb Roman (1-800-369-1269, extension 110), but online applications are preferred.  A site plan and budget page must accompany your narrative.  The application process is competitive and preference is given to applicants that meet all guidelines.  Paper copies should be emailed or submitted via postal mail to Deb Roman, 80 West 8th Ave., Marion, IA, 52302. 
Grants are awarded once per year, all Iowa communities that receive service from Alliant Energy may apply.  Apply by November 1 for spring and fall plantings in the upcoming year.
Grant CycleApplication DeadlineGrants AnnouncedFunding Awarded
FallJune 1August 1August 1-30
SpringNovember 1February 1April 1-30
Please keep in mind the following details when preparing your grant application:
  • Projects are expected to include volunteer involvement, whether they plant the trees or help plan the project and planting day.  If your community does not have an active tree committee, please form an advisory committee that will help you plan your project.  
  • To accommodate volunteers of all ages and abilities, trees should be no larger than 1.5” caliper or 10 gal. container (shade trees) or 4’ or 10 gal. container (evergreens). This is adventageous because it is easier for volunteers to handle the trees and because it is likely that the trees will grow faster and do better.  Research has shown that because smaller trees experience less transplant shock, they are able to get established and begin growing more quickly than larger stock.
  • Tree species need to be on the recommended species list and must meet above maximum size requirements.  You must get a written approval from a Trees Forever field coordinator if you propose species not on the recommended list.
  • Projects need a completed budget page using this form.
  • A Trees Forever field coordinator can assist you in developing a project and/or application.
For more information on Branching Out, you can also visit Alliant Energy.


West Branch High students planted trees thanks to an Alliant Energy Branching Out grant! This was part of a school wide day of volunteering during Spring 2017.

Need Help?

The Trees Forever staff is available to help you complete applications, develop a planting project, and plan a planting event.  If you have questions, please call 1-800-369-1269 x 110 Monday - Friday 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.