The Department of Environmental Management (DEM), in partnership with the RI Tree CouncilRI Nursery and Landscape Association, and the Arbor Day Foundation, is providing 1,000 free trees to Rhode Island residents this spring through the Energy-Saving Trees program.

Registration opens Friday, March 25. Now in its 13th season, this popular program helps Rhode Islanders save energy and lower their utility bills by strategically planting trees on their property. 

“Planting a tree in the right place can improve air quality, sequester carbon, and help manage stormwater runoff,” said DEM Agriculture and Forestry Chief Ken Ayars in a statement. “It’s a terrific way for Rhode Islanders to reduce their energy costs today and in the years to come, and a tangible way to stand up to climate change. We’re especially pleased to offer free trees now, when many of us are spending more time in our backyards because of the pandemic.”

Planting the right tree in the right place is the key to maximizing the energy-saving benefits that trees provide, according to DEM. When planted properly, a single tree can save homeowners money on energy costs by shading their home in the summer and blocking cold winds in the winter. Additional benefits include improved air quality, reducing stormwater runoff, and beautifying your surroundings.

The process to reserve your free tree can take less than 10 minutes. In three easy steps you can reserve your tree:

  1. Sign up at www.arborday.org/RIDEM and map your house by using the interactive mapping tool.
  2. Select the right tree by choosing from the list of available trees.
  3. Reserve your tree and select your pick-up location from the following list of locations.

Richmond Elementary School: 190 Kingstown Rd., Richmond, RI 02898

Saturday, April 23, 9 AM-12 PM.

Monsignor Gadoury School: 1371 Park Ave., Woonsocket, RI 02895

Saturday, April 30, 9 AM-12 PM.

Colt State Park: Rt. 114, Bristol, RI 02809

Saturday, May 7, 9 AM-12 PM.

RI Tree Council:  2953 Hartford Ave., Johnston, RI 02919

Saturday, May 14, 9 AM-12 PM.

The free trees will be approximately four to six feet tall each and are in three-gallon containers.  These trees fit in most cars for transportation to your home. All program participants must be Rhode Island residents and must pre-register online to reserve their free tree.

Funding for the program is provided by the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. For online registration assistance please contact the Arbor Day Foundation at 1-855-234-3801. For more information about the Rhode Island Energy-Saving Trees Program, please visit DEM’s Division of Agriculture and Forest Environment Urban and Community Forestry website.   

For more information about DEM divisions and programs, visit www.dem.ri.gov.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. Although not the founder or original owner, Belmore has been with What'sUpNewp since its early beginnings in 2012.

Belmore was born in Providence, Rhode Island; grew up and graduated high school in Coventry, Rhode Island; and lived in Newport, Rhode Island for more than ten years. He currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals.

He and his wife, Jen, as well as their two dogs (Aero and June), recently moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Belmore travels back and forth to Newport every couple of weeks to cover events, work on story ideas, to meet with What'sUpNewp's on-the-ground contributors, to visit friends, and to eat as much seafood as possible.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.