Wednesday, April 29, 2009

State of MD Wants to Plant a Million Trees

The State of Maryland has announced an ambitious goal: plant 1 million new trees by 2011.

They don’t plan to do it alone. They are asking you, me and everyone else to pitch in, buy a tree and plant it somewhere, and they are offering some very generous coupons to places like American Plant, Benke’s and other local businesses. I think it is a pretty cool way to get people planting trees while shopping locally.

There are so many good reasons to plant a tree, especially a native that will provide food, cover or shelter for local wildlife while it beautifies your yard. Trees also clean the water that enters the Chesapeake: one large tree can eliminate 5000 gallons of stormwater run off each year. Trees also help reduce air pollution, and a well placed tree can reduce energy costs by 15 – 35 percent for the average homeowner.

You might think you don’t have enough room for a big tree, but the list of trees eligible for coupon use includes loads of small, understory trees that will fit on even tiny urban lots like those around my neighborhood, as well as some nice, big, slow growing giants. Some shrubs even qualify, such as witch hazel.

And if your yard is already packed with trees and shrubs or you live in an apartment or rental where trees aren’t possible, you can donate to the purchase of a tree to be planted. They will even send you a certificate to commemorate the tree you pick.

Check out this site for more information, including a full list of vendors and a full list of eligible trees.

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