ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is offering free tree seedlings to landowners in several counties who have a creek, drainage ditch, stream, or other waterway on or near their property through the Backyard Buffers program.

Trees and shrubs planted along waterways help improve water quality by absorbing excess nutrients, lowering peak water temperatures, reducing sediment, and stabilizing stream banks.

Each “buffer in a bag” contains approximately 25 native bare-root tree and shrub seedlings with species appropriate to their region.

Southern Maryland Backyard Buffer Program Contacts:

St. Mary’s County
Nicole Basenback, UMD Extension
Online Sign Up

Charles County
Not currently active

Calvert County
UMD Extension Service
Online Sign Up

Anne Arundel County
Justin Arseneault 410-360-8421
For More Information:

Prince George’s County (Anacostia Watershed Only)
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
Online Sign Up

Maryland Forest Service staff will provide information on tree maintenance and planting techniques, in addition to suggestions of other suitable native species at the time of pickup.

Quantities are limited so reservations will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis. Order deadlines, pickup dates, and partner organizations vary by county — a list of contacts and dates for participating locations is found on the department’s website.