The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has planted hundreds of trees this year through Tree Montgomery. This new initiative aims to reverse the loss of tree canopy due to development, storm damage, and the age of many trees in the County. The program is funded by the Tree Canopy Law.
Tree Montgomery, developed and implemented by DEP, provides free shade trees to increase canopy coverage and raise awareness of the benefits of trees. Restoring our natural canopies improves our watersheds by reducing sediment and other pollutants into our streams, improves air quality, and provides a more aesthetic environment.
The program began this past spring. Single-family homes, businesses, multi-family properties, and homeowner associations (except in Rockville and Gaithersburg) are eligible to request free shade trees from the County. The trees planted through the program are 10-12 feet tall when installed and will grow to over 50 feet tall when fully mature. DEP provides two years of free aftercare, including watering and pruning.
“The number of residents who have expressed interest in this program is incredible,” said DEP Director Lisa Feldt. “These trees will help replenish the County’s aging canopy, provide numerous environmental benefits such as cleaner air and water, and add economic value to our communities.”
North Potomac resident Jason Brodsky received a free shade tree during this year’s spring planting. “My family was thrilled to have a free shade tree from the County planted in our front yard. The folks from the County were very knowledgeable and it was a pleasure to work with them. The County’s contractor did a terrific job planting our sycamore tree. It’s a very beautiful addition to our home that we will enjoy for a long time!”
Due to the overwhelmingly positive response that the program has generated, current tree requests are being scheduled for planting in 2016.
To request a free shade tree, sign up at TreeMontgomery.org.