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Free Tree Seedlings Available in Washington County

Orders for Backyard Buffer Program Due March 31

Photo of seedlings growing at state nurseryThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources is offering free tree seedlings to landowners who have a creek, drainage ditch, stream or other waterway on or near their property through the 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 about 30 native bare-root tree and shrub seedlings suitable for planting in moist soil conditions. This year, seedlings for  Washington County properties will include a mix of: buttonbush, black chokeberry, Washington hawthorn, eastern redbud, swamp white oak, and loblolly-pitch pine hybrid.

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 pickup.

Requests must be received by March 31. Interested property owners should contact the Washington County – Forest Service office at 301-791-4733 or email to reserve their seedlings. Bundles will be available for pickup in early April. Quantities are limited so reservations will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.