PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management (DEM), in partnership with the RI Tree Council, RI Nursery and Landscape Association, and the Arbor Day Foundation, is providing 1,000 free trees to Rhode Island residents this spring. Now in its 12th season, the program helps Rhode Islanders save energy and lower their utility bills by strategically planting trees on their property.
"We're pleased to join with the Arbor Day Foundation and local partners again this spring to offer free trees to Rhode Islanders," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "Planting a tree in the right place is a tangible way for residents to stand up to climate change and can improve air quality, sequester carbon, and help manage stormwater runoff. Most trees are spoken for within days of registration opening, so be sure to register early!"
Planting the right tree in the right place is the key to maximizing the energy-saving benefits that trees provide. When planted properly, a single tree can save a homeowner money on energy costs by shading their home in the summer and blocking cold winds in the winter. This season, nine different tree species with variety of mature sizes will be distributed. Available species will include Allee elm, American hornbeam, black tupelo, eastern hophornbeam, eastern redbud, Exclamation! London planetree, 'Frontier' hybrid elm, Okame cherry, and white oak.
Registration opens on Monday, April 5, and is required to reserve a tree. Recipients must be Rhode Island residents. Supplies go fast, so early registration is recommended. Follow these steps to reserve your free tree:
1. Sign up at www.arborday.org/RIDEM and map out your house by using the interactive mapping tool
2. Select the right tree by choosing from a list of approved trees
3. Reserve your tree by choosing from a list of pick-up locations (listed below)
The free trees will be approximately four to six feet tall and come in three-gallon containers. These trees are traveling size and will fit in most cars for you to take home and plant yourself.
For registration assistance please contact the Arbor Day Foundation at 1-855-234-3801.
Trees can be picked up during one of the following pick-up events:
Saturday, May 1 (9 AM – 12 PM) Richmond Elementary School, 190 Kingstown Road, Richmond
Saturday, May 8 (9 AM – 12 PM) Colt State Park, Route 114, Bristol
Saturday, May 15 (9 AM – 12 PM) RI State Park Headquarters, 1100 Tower Hill Road, North Kingstown
Saturday, May 22 (9 AM – 12 PM) RI Tree Council Headquarters, 2953 Hartford Avenue, Johnston
DEM reminds Rhode Islanders that they must wear face coverings and practice social distancing while at the tree pick-up events. DEM advises everyone to follow current guidance about COVID-19 from the Rhode Island Department of Health. More information about COVID-19 and Rhode Island's response can be found here: https://health.ri.gov/diseases/ncov2019/
For questions about the Energy-Saving Trees Program, contact Lou Allard, Urban and Community Forestry Program Coordinator in DEM's Division of Forest Environment at 401-222-2445 ext. 72056 or by email at Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org. Funding for the program is provided by the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
For more information on DEM's programs and divisions, visit www.dem.ri.gov or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM or via Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM).