Planting trees is a key tool in the fight against global warming. Climate change is caused by an increase in greenhouse gases (primarily carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere. Trees help to reduce these gases by taking in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it as wood (“carbon sequestration”). We also depend on trees and other plants to produce the oxygen that we breathe. Trees planted near your home can reduce energy used for cooling in the summer, and their roots reduce water runoff and erosion. Planting native species of trees supports local ecosystems, providing habitat and food for birds, mammals, and insects.
Would you like a FREE shade tree for your yard? Through the Tree Montgomery program, Montgomery County will help you select an appropriate shade tree, send people to plant the tree, and provide follow-up care and inspections. When installed, the trees will be more than 10 feet tall and they will eventually grow to more than 50 feet tall. Go to Tree Montgomery to learn more and to apply for a tree.
The county has already planted more than 3,700 shade trees; this is a popular program, and there is a waiting list for free trees. Kitty Seiferlein, a member of the Sustainability Committee, reports that several years ago, as part of this program, a county arborist advised her family on tree selection and planted two young trees (a black gum and hackberry); both are doing well today. Although she had to wait a while after applying, she thought it was well worth the wait.
Other tree planting programs. If you don’t want to wait for a free shade tree from the County, here are a couple of options to help reduce the cost of new trees.
- Marylanders Plant Trees (Maryland Forest Service). Download a coupon to receive $25 off the purchase of a native tree at participating nurseries across the state.
- Reforest Montgomery (Montgomery Planning Department). Download a coupon off the purchase of a native tree at participating nurseries. Combine it with the Marylanders Plant Trees coupon for added savings.
TIP: Protect young trees that sprout in a suitable place in your yard naturally. A little fence will save them from the mower and give them a chance to grow into big trees. It’s another way to acquire free trees.