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Free Tree Seedlings Available for Lower Eastern Shore Landowners

Available to Riparian Homeowners in Dorchester and Wicomico

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is offering free trees to help improve water quality in targeted Lower Eastern Shore communities.

Dorchester and Wicomico 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 of each species: buttonbush, hazel alder, red osier dogwood, willow oak and white oak. All seedlings are 1-year-old and approximately 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 pick up which will take place April 21 for both counties. The Dorchester pick up location is the Spocott Windmill on Route 343 near Cambridge from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Wicomico pick up location is the University of Maryland Extension Office at 28674 Old Quantico Road in Salisbury from 10 a.m. to noon.

The deadline for placing orders is April 20. Dorchester residents should contact Scott Daniels at 410-228-1861, and Wicomico residents should contact Matthew Hurd at 410-543-1950. Quantities are limited so reservations will be on a first-come, first-served basis.