The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) – along with partners the RI Tree Council, Rhode Island Nursery and Landscape Association, and the Arbor Day Foundation – is giving 1,000 trees away to Rhode Islanders this spring through the Energy-Saving Trees program.
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Registration opens Friday, April 7. Now in its seventh year, this popular semiannual program helps Rhode Islanders save energy and lower their utility bills by strategically planting trees on their property.
"Planting trees in our neighborhoods makes them greener and provides shade to keep people cooler and healthier in hot weather. These are investments in our communities and the quality of life throughout Rhode Island, particularly in our cities. From an environmental perspective, planting a tree in the right place can improve air quality, capture and store carbon, and help manage stormwater runoff," said DEM Director Terry Gray.
"It's a terrific way for Rhode Islanders to reduce their energy costs today and in the years to come, and a tangible way to stand up to climate change."
Planting the right tree in the right place is the key to maximizing the energy-saving benefits trees provide. When planted properly, a single tree can save homeowners money on energy costs by shading their home in the summer and blocking cold winds in the winter.
Additional benefits include improving air quality, reducing stormwater runoff, and beautifying your surroundings.
The two small species (up to 35 feet tall) available in the spring giveaway are the trident maple and pawpaw.
Medium-sized trees (up to 50 feet) include the eastern hophornbeam, black tupelo, and yellowwood. Large species (taller than 50 feet) include the bald cypress, dawn redwood, and ginkgo.
The process to reserve your free tree only takes a few minutes.
1. Sign up at www.arborday.org/RIDEM and map your house by using the interactive mapping tool.
2. Select the right species by choosing from the list of available trees.
3. Reserve your tree and select your pick-up location from the following list of locations.
Colt State Park: Route 114, Bristol, 02809 Saturday, May 6, 9 AM-12 PM
RI State Parks Headquarters: 1100 Tower Hill Rd, North Kingstown, 02852 Saturday, May 13, 9 AM-12 PM
RI Tree Council: 2953 Hartford Avenue, Johnston, 02919 Saturday, May 20, 9 AM-12 PM
The trees will be about four to six feet tall each and are in three-gallon containers. These trees fit in most cars for transportation to your home. All program participants must be Rhode Island residents and pre-register online beginning on April 7 to reserve their free tree. ■