Free Trees From DEM — Starts Monday

These go fast. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) will launch its 2021 Tree Giveaway this Monday, April 5th. Recipients must be Rhode Island residents. (There will be another tree giveaway in September/October.)

According to the ProJo nine species will be available: Allee elm, American hornbeam, black tupelo, eastern hop hornbeam, eastern redbud, Exclamation! London plane tree, “Frontier” hybrid elm, Okame cherry, and white oak.

Seen here, and below, is one of the white oaks (Quercus alba) found on Forest Avenue in the southeastern corner of Swan Point Cemetery (upper right in this cemetery map.) Check out the times of day and etiquette for visiting Swan Point before heading over.

The Arbor Day Foundation has all the specs on white oaks.

The bark is light ashy gray, scaly or shallow furrowed, variable in appearance, often broken into small, narrow, rectangular blocks and scales.The leaves are dark green to slightly blue-green in summer, brown and wine-red to orange-red in the fall. The fall foliage is showy.

Go here to apply for your tree. Leave your email and get notified when the program opens on Monday.

The free trees will be approximately four to six feet tall and come in three-gallon containers. These trees are traveling size and will fit in most cars for you to take home and plant yourself.

You can pick up your tree in May at the following locations:

  • Saturday, May 1 (9am – noon) Richmond Elementary School, 190 Kingstown Road, Richmond
  • Saturday, May 8 (9am – noon) Colt State Park, Route 114, Bristol
  • Saturday, May 15 (9am – noon) RI State Park Headquarters, 1100 Tower Hill Road, North Kingstown
  • Saturday, May 22 (9am – noon) RI Tree Council Headquarters, 2953 Hartford Avenue, Johnston

National Arbor Day is celebrated the last Friday in April: this year, April 30th.


This specimen is leaning over a bit. The trees in this far corner of the cemetery probably received a little less “guidance” growing up, but white oaks can be quite beautiful, particularly in the autumn.

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