Free trees available to homeowners this spring

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is teaming up once again with the Arbor Day Foundation, Rhode Island Tree Council, and the Rhode Island Nursery and Landscape Association to give away 1,000 trees as part of the state’s Energy-Saving Trees program.

The town of Portsmouth will also hold a tree seedling giveaway on April 14 from 9 to 11 a.m. at Town Hall, 2200 East Main Road.

Portsmouth will give away seedlings for flowering dogwood, sugar maple, and sassafras trees. 

The state’s Energy-Saving Trees program, now in its sixth season, helps homeowners conserve energy and reduce utility costs while beautifying their neighborhood.

“We’re excited to join with the Arbor Day Foundation and our local partners this spring to offer free trees to Rhode Islanders,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “Be sure to register early, because this program is extremely popular and most trees are spoken for within days of registration opening. Planting a tree is a great way for homeowners to reduce their monthly expenses while promoting a healthier environment and creating a beautiful memory with their families.”

Trees play an important role in cooling streets and homes, filtering air, and reducing stormwater pollution.

The trees distributed under the Energy-Saving Trees Program are approximately four to six feet tall and will be distributed in three-gallon containers for easy transport.

The Rhode Island Tree Council will provide planting and care instruction to homeowners – as well as guidance on how to maximize energy-savings. When planted properly, a single mature tree can save $30 annually in heating and cooling costs.

Registration opens on Monday, April 2, and is required in order to reserve a tree.

Supplies go fast, so early registration is recommended.

For more information and/or to register for the program, visit Trees can be picked up during one of the following pick-up events:

Saturday, April 28 (9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.) Middletown Public Library, 700 West Main Road, Middletown

Saturday, May 5 (9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.) Roger Williams Botanical Center, 1000 Elmwood Avenue, Providence

Saturday, May 12 (9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.) Warwick Public Library, 600 Sandy Lane, Warwick

Saturday, May 19 (9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.) RI Tree Council Headquarters, 2953 Hartford Avenue, Johnston

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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