Climate Crisis

Free trees available to homeowners soon

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — Registration for popular Energy-Saving Trees Program, which helps Rhode Island homeowners save energy and money, opens Monday, Sept. 17.

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is teaming up with the Arbor Day Foundation to give away 1,200 trees as part of the State’s Energy-Saving Trees Program. Now in its seventh 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 again this fall to offer free trees to Rhode Islanders,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “The Energy-Saving Trees program is extremely popular and most trees are spoken for within days of registration opening, so be sure to register early! Planting a tree in the right place can improve air quality, sequester carbon, and help manage stormwater runoff. It’s a terrific way for residents 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 that trees provide. Trees play an important role in cooling streets and homes, filtering air, and reducing stormwater pollution. When planted properly, a single tree can save a homeowner $30 annually in heating and cooling costs by shading their home in the summer and blocking cold winds in the winter.

The trees – one-gallon potted saplings – will be mailed directly to participants’ homes courtesy of the Arbor Day Foundation. Four varieties of trees are available, including Shadblow Serviceberry, River Birch, Tuliptree, and Blackgum. Tree shipments will begin in mid-October.

Registration opens on Monday, September 17 and is required to reserve a tree. Supplies go fast, so early registration is recommended. For more information and/or to register for the program, visit

For questions about the Energy-Saving Trees Program, contact Tee Jay Boudreau, Deputy Chief of DEM’s Division of Forest Environment, at 222-2445, ext. 2059, or email him at

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