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Baltimore County celebrates 20th year as a Tree City USA with free tree giveaway

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TOWSON, MD—County Executive Johnny Olszewski on Monday announced that Baltimore County is offering free trees to residents in honor of Earth Day and the County’s 20th year as a designated Tree City USA. Trees must be preordered online and supplies are expected to run out quickly.

County Giving Away 500 Trees to Baltimore County Residents

The County’s Earth Day weekend giveaway is open to Baltimore County residents only, and each household may order up to two trees. Residents must preorder trees through the Baltimore County website, and are encouraged to order early. The Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS) is hosting curbside tree pickups of these preordered trees on Friday, April 21 and Saturday, April 22 at the Center for Maryland Agriculture and Farm Park, located at 1114 Shawan Road in Cockeysville, with pre-scheduled times for residents who have ordered trees.

The County is offering the following species, which as native Maryland trees, are well-suited to local soil types, require less watering than non-native trees and are naturally resistant to pests and diseases common to our area:

  • Hackberry
  • Persimmon
  • Pin Oak
  • Redbud
  • River Birch
  • Serviceberry
  • Slippery Elm
  • Sugar Maple
  • Sycamore
  • White Oak

Put Your Tree on the Map

County residents who plant trees themselves are invited to record the tree locations on the County’s Environmental Reporter Web Application, an online tool that enables the public to help the County track environmental data, including locations where people plant trees or install rain barrels.

Ongoing Tree Planting Programs – Backyard Trees and Turf to Trees

County landowners can also apply now for the County to plant trees at no cost to them next fall through one of two County programs – Backyard Trees or Turf to Trees – depending on the amount of land available. Eligible plantings can range from 20 trees up to a large multi-acre reforestation, converting turf to environmentally beneficial forested ecosystems.

The Backyard Trees program requires a minimum planting area of only one-tenth of an acre. This program was created to make reforestation more accessible to homeowners with less than an acre of available land. The Turf to Trees program is intended for larger tracts of open land, with 200 trees planted per acre to create rural reforestations, and it includes three years of free maintenance.

Interested landowners can learn more on the County website. These programs focus on reforestation and do not include the planting of evergreens, or small groupings of trees intended to provide landscaping or privacy screening. The Forestry Management Division of the Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability manages these programs and can be contacted at [email protected].

Tree Benefits

Every tree planted helps increase the County’s tree canopy, curtailing stormwater runoff and erosion and reducing greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. Trees provide food, protection and habitat for wildlife while increasing property values and beautifying neighborhoods.

Photo via Pixabay

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