Hey Maryland Residents: Want Free Trees?

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This week I’m posting a note/guest post from Aubin Maynard, an environmental planner at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.  

How would you like 5 to 25 tree seedlings at no cost to you through the Maryland Forest Service’s Backyard Buffer program? This program was created to help landowners that own less than 6 acres and live near or adjacent to waterways create forested buffers. These buffers help reduce the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollution that enters into our watersheds. Buffers improve water quality and create habitat for fish and wildlife.
What’s the catch? Your property must be less than 6 acres and within 300 feet from a stream, storm drain or other waterway. COG is partnering with the Maryland Forest Service, and will deliver 5 to 25 whip seedlings in early spring. You simply plant them, and care and maintain them to establish a forested buffer. That’s it!

If you are interested please complete a short survey by COB March 18, 2016:


Note that you must be a Maryland resident to be eligible.

Questions and answers below that may guide your decision for participation:
“Q1. What are the plant species available?”

A. This season 4 out of 5 species will be pin oak, yellow poplar, southern crabapple, and southern arrowwood. MDNR staff will let participants know the fifth native species in March.
“Q2. When do we need to submit the request?”

A. Orders must be submitted by March 10th, but the order wouldn’t dropped off until sometime in late March or April. Participates will be notified when MDNR provides a plant availability date.
“Q3. Not many people in the Anacostia watershed have property in the riparian areas. Can the trees be planted elsewhere on their property?”

A. We would prefer to see the trees planted close to waterbodies, otherwise, rain gardens, drainage areas, wetlands, or anywhere that water infiltrates are likely candidates.
“Q4. Are there any reporting requirements? ”

A. A Maryland DNR staff will contact you regarding your application, a follow up survival survey and to see if you want more plants in the following year.
“Q5. My property is not in the Anacostia watershed or I’m unsure if I’m in the watershed? ”

A. Contact us anyways and we’ll be happy to direct you to the appropriate DNR staff for other areas of Maryland.
“Q6. Is it possible to choose from the list of available species? ”

A. We will do our best to accommodate your wishes, but cannot guarantee specific species. For example, orders of 25 trees will most likely contain 5 of each of the available species.

Still have questions?  Contact Aubin Maynard directly for more info:

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