University of Maryland Extension

Backyard Buffer Program Offers Free Trees to Lower Shore Residents

Backyard Buffers Program hands out free trees to the community.

On March 3rd in Cambridge, MD and March 6th in Salisbury, MD the University of Maryland Extension (UME) partnered with Maryland DNR Forest Service and the Wicomico and Dorchester County Forestry Boards to offer free trees in celebration of Maryland Arbor Day.  Free trees were given to all those that attended.  40 participants signed up for free trees resulting in over 800 trees being handed out, with special tree packets given to landowners wishing to plant trees near water.

The Backyard Buffers Program is designed to assist homeowners (with less than 5 acres of land) who have a stream or other waterway on or adjacent to their property to create a streamside buffer of native trees and shrubs.  The Backyard Buffers Program provides a free “buffer in a bag” to help get homeowners started in buffering their streamside. The buffer in a bag included 20 native tree and shrub bare-root seedlings, approximately 1 to 2 feet in height, of various species that are well suited to streamside conditions.UME Extension & MD DNR Forestry hand out trees 2013

Of the program participants that took part in in last year’s 2012 Backyard Buffers, there was over a 60% survival rate of the seedlings.  This is a wonderful success rate considering the challenging drought of 2012 not only on MD’s Eastern Shore but the entire state.  UME and the Maryland DNR Forestry Boards would like to give a special thank you to the Dorchester technical high school and Lower Shore Master Gardeners that helped bundle and prepare the trees for handout.

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