Free Trees — Sign Up Starting Tuesday

The Department of Environmental Management (DEM), in partnership with the RI Tree Council, RI Nursery and Landscape Association, and the Arbor Day Foundation, is providing 1,200 free trees to Rhode Island homeowners this fall. Three easy steps:

1. Sign up at, and map out your house by using the interactive mapping tool.
2. Select the right tree by choosing from a list of approved trees.
3. The 1-gallon tree will then be mailed directly to your home.

All homeowners must meet program requirements and pre-register online to reserve their free tree. Tree shipments will begin in October.

This season, seven different tree species with variety of mature sizes will be distributed. Available species will include witch hazel, serviceberry, persimmon, sweetgum, willow oak, tulip tree, and bald cypress.


Seen here, tulip poplars (Liriodendron tulipifera) line the allée that runs down from the Old State House on Benefit Street to North Main Street. They replaced the American elms that all died over a decade ago. The tulip poplar is native to America and was one of George Washington’s favorites; two originals still survive at Mt. Vernon, so these can be long-lived.

In 1999 hurricane-force winds blew down over 10,000 trees at the Palace of Versailles. In April of this year they kicked off a long overdue restoration of Marie-Antoinette’s private gardens.
The restoration will be conducted in stages, beginning with the replanting of Virginal tulip trees (liriodendron tulipifera) in the central square and along the access paths. Marie-Antoinette was particularly fond of the North American native species, which was first planted on the grounds of Versailles by King Louis XV, her grandfather-in-law, a passionate botanist who cultivated thousands of plant species from around the world on the Trianon grounds.
. . . Tulip trees can grow well over 100 feet tall with orange-yellow tulip-shaped flowers that bloom in May and June and bright green leaves that turn golden yellow in the fall. George Washington also admired the flowering tree; a pair of tulip trees planted on the bowling green at Mount Vernon in the late 18th century still stand today.

Planting trees can help with climate change. Just ask Jane Goodall.

Registration opens Tuesday, September 22.


The light green mitten-shaped leaves turn yellow in autumn.

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