RHODE ISLAND: 1,000 Free Trees Help Save Energy and Water 

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island, April 19, 2022 (ENS) – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, DEM, is distributing 1,000 free, four-to-six foot trees at sites around the state in late April and early May. The trees are part of the DEM’s Energy-Saving Trees program to help homeowners beautify their properties and lower their utility bills at the same time.

DEM is providing the free trees in partnership with the Rhode Island Tree Council, Rhode Island Nursery and Landscape Association, and the Arbor Day Foundation. When planted properly and in the right location, trees can shade homes in the summer and block winds in the winter, helping homeowners save on energy bills, improve air quality and reduce stormwater runoff.

The Energy-Saving Trees program is a community tree planting program that encourages the strategic planting of trees for the greatest energy-saving and money-saving benefits. The program combines trees with an interactive web experience to help homeowners and communities save energy and money by strategically planting trees to maximize their environmental benefits.

Planting the right tree in the right place is key to maximizing their energy-saving benefits. When planted properly, a single tree can save a homeowner up to 20 percent on energy costs, DEM says.

The program is administered by the National Arbor Day Foundation. Since 2011, with the help of over 120 partners, Arbor Day Foundation has distributed more than 450,000 trees to households nationwide.

In Rhode Island, the program is managed by the Division of Forest Environment’s Urban and Community Forestry Program, with funding provided by the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade system of which Rhode Island is a member.

Rhode Island residents can apply for a free tree and pick it up at pick-up locations across the state. Applications must be completed online through the application portal. DEM Divison of Forest Environment offers two tree giveaways a year – on specific Saturdays in April/ May and Sept/October.

Steps to getting a free tree:

  • – Watch for the announcement that the program is open for applications on the DFE Facebook page or DEM press releases
  • – Go to the Energy-Saving Trees portal and enter your location.
  • – Use the interactive tool to determine the best locations to plant a tree for energy savings.
  • – Review the trees available and select the tree that is best suited for the location to provide the maximum benefits.
  • – Look at the space you have available on your property.
  • – Consider overhead and below ground conflicts.
  • – Look at the mature size of the trees available and select the most suitable choice.
  • – Complete the application and select your pick-up location/date.
  • – Pick up your tree at the date and time you selected.
  • – Take your tree home and plant it as soon as possible.

Registration opened on Friday, March 25, and is required to reserve a tree. Recipients must be Rhode Island residents.

Follow these steps to reserve your free tree:

  • – Sign up at www.arborday.org/RIDEM and map your house with the interactive mapping tool
  • – Select the right tree by choosing from a list of approved trees
  • – Reserve your tree by choosing from the list of pick-up locations listed below

The free trees will be four to six feet tall and come in three-gallon containers. These trees are traveling size and will fit in most cars for residents to take home and plant.

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:

  • – Richmond Elementary School: 190 Kingstown Rd., Richmond, RI, Saturday, April 23, 9AM-12PM.
  • – Monsignor Gadoury School: 1371 Park Ave., Woonsocket, RI, Saturday, April 30, 9AM-12PM.
  • – Colt State Park: Rt. 114, Bristol, RI, Saturday, May 7, 9AM-12PM.
  • – RI Tree Council: 2953 Hartford Ave., Johnston, RI, Saturday, May 14, 9AM-12PM.

For registration and portal assistance, contact the Arbor Day Foundation at 1-855-234-3801.

For questions about the Energy-Saving Trees Program, contact Lou Allard, Urban and Community Forestry Program Coordinator for DEM Division of Forest Environment at 401-222-2445 ext. 2772056 or by email at Robert.e.allard@dem.ri.gov.

Featured image: Free trees waiting for distribution to Rhode Island residents. March 2022 (Photo courtesy Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management)

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