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Free Seedlings for St. Mary’s County Backyard Buffers

Order Deadline is April 12

Photo of Northern red oak seedlings growing at state nursery

Northern red oak

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is offering free tree seedlings to St. Mary’s County 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.

Plantings can be ordered in small bundles of 9 seedlings and large bundles of 15 seedlings, with species including chestnut oak, gray dogwood, northern red oak, red bud and white oak.

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

Quantities are limited so reservations will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis. Bundles can be reserved by contacting Nicole Basenback at 301-475-4484 or by email at

Pickup will be Saturday, April 20 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Agriculture Service Center, University of Maryland Extension St. Mary’s office, 26737 Radio Station Way, Suite C in Leonardtown.