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Free Tree Seedlings Available for Lower Eastern Shore Landowners

Available to Riparian Homeowners in Somerset and Worcester

Photo of a tree plantingThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources is offering free tree plantings to help improve water quality in targeted Lower Eastern Shore communities.

Somerset and Worcester County landowners who have a creek, drainage ditch, stream or other waterway on or near their property are eligible for free tree seedlings through the department’s Backyard Buffers program.

Trees planted along waterways help enhance and improve water quality by absorbing excess nutrients, reducing sediment, stabilizing stream banks and lowering water temperatures.

Each “buffer in a bag” contains 25 native, bare-root tree seedlings suited for planting in wet soil conditions. The bundle will include five river birch, five swamp white oak and five black locust, in addition to 10 loblolly pine. All seedlings are 1-year-old and about 8 to 10 inches tall.

Maryland Forest Service staff will provide information on tree maintenance and planting techniques, in addition to suggestions on other good native species at the time of pick up.

All tree requests must be received by March 23. Interested homeowners should contact Dakota Durcho by cellphone at 443-235-1634 or email to reserve their seedlings for an early April pick up.  Quantities are limited so reservations will be on a first-come, first-served basis.