The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Calvert Master Gardeners with its partner the America Chestnut Land Trust are offering free tree seedlings to help improve water quality in Calvert County.
County landowners who have a creek, drainage ditch, stream or other waterway on or near their property are eligible for free trees through the Department’s Backyard Buffers program.
Trees intercept rainfall, reducing its impact and allowing it to penetrate the soil instead of running off into streams. Trees planted along waterways help improve water quality by absorbing excess nutrients, lowering peak water temperatures, reducing sediment and stabilizing stream banks.
Residents can choose from two mixes of trees & shrubs. Each “buffer in a bag” contains native bare-root tree seedlings suitable for planting in moist soil conditions. The shrub/small tree bundle (9 seedlings) includes a mix of red bud (3), gray dogwood (3) and indigo bush (3). The large tree bundle (15 seedlings) includes a mix of river birch (5), sycamore (5) and chestnut oak (5). All seedlings are 1-year-old and approximately 8 to 14 inches tall. There is a limit of two bundles per household.
Information on tree maintenance and planting techniques, in addition to suggestions on other good native species, will be provided at the time of pick up.
Requests must be received by April 10, 2019. Interested property owners should contact Liz Laher, Administrative Assistant II, University of Maryland Extension, Calvert, preferably by email firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 410-535-3662 to reserve seedlings. Bundles will be available for pickup in mid/late April. Quantities are limited, so reservations will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.