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Free Tree Seedlings Available for Washington County Landowners

Riparian Homeowners Can Help Improve Water Quality

Children Planting TreeThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources is offering free tree and shrub seedlings to help improve water quality in Washington County.

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

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

Each “buffer in a bag” contains native bare-root tree and shrub seedlings suitable for planting in moist soil conditions. This year’s bundle will include a mix of American plum, common ninebark, eastern redbud, river birch and loblolly pine. 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 the time of pick up. 

Requests must be received by March 31. Interested property owners can use the online order form, or they can contact Forester Bob Schwartz at 301-791-4733 to reserve their seedlings. Bundles will be available for pick up in early April. Quantities are limited so reservations will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.