Distributions taking place at 145 municipalities through May 1
TRENTON, NJ – The New Jersey Tree Recovery Campaign, a partnership including the New Jersey State Forest Service and the non-profit Arbor Day Foundation, is providing some 102,000 free tree seedlings to state residents in 145 municipal distribution locations across the state as part of an ongoing effort to replace trees destroyed during Superstorm Sandy, Commissioner Bob Martin announced today.
This is the third year of the effort, launched to help communities that lost trees during Sandy, which toppled and crippled countless trees with strong winds and record storm surges in October 2012.
Municipalities that registered last month for the seedlings will receive up to 2,000 trees each for distribution to residents. Any resident is eligible to receive up to five free seedlings at any of the distribution locations. Proof of residency in the community of distribution is not required.
“Trees serve many important functions, including creating habitat for wildlife, stabilizing areas that are prone to erosion, conserving energy use, and beautifying our communities,” Commissioner Martin said. “The State Forest Nursery in Jackson is providing seedlings from more than 38 different tree species for the campaign, including a wide range of trees native to New Jersey such as oaks, dogwoods and maples.”
New Jersey State Forest Service will deliver the trees to 13 regional distribution centers for pick-up by those municipalities, which will then distribute them to residents through May 15. Each participating community will distribute seedlings on a designated date. Seedling distribution locations and dates as well as much more information on trees and their benefits can be found on the State Forest Service Facebook page at www.facebook.com/newjerseyforests or online at www.forestry.nj.gov
The New Jersey Tree Recovery Campaign is a joint public-private effort between the New Jersey State Forest Service's Community Forestry Program and State Forest Nursery, New Jersey Soil Conservation Districts, Sustainable Jersey, Arbor Day Foundation, Brothers International, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Wyndham Vacation Resorts, and FedEx.
“The seedlings, which are about knee-high when distributed, should be planted promptly to ensure survival. In choosing where to plant the seedlings, residents should consider the size of the tree when fully grown and be mindful of overhead utility lines and proximity to structures,” said State Forester John Sacco.
The State Forest Nursery in Jackson grows 500,000 trees annually, helping to protect, preserve and promote native species such as the eastern red cedar, sycamore, and the northern red oak – New Jersey’s official state tree. The nursery sells the majority of trees in packets of 100 to non-profit organizations and landowners who use the trees to reforest their land. Packet prices start at $30.
The nursery also offers the Third Grade Tree Team program, providing third graders across the state with a free tree seedling when requested by schools. For Arbor Day celebrations, the nursery offers 98 tube seedlings for $25. For more information on these programs, visit: www.forestnursery.org or call (732) 928-0029.
The National Arbor Day Foundation has been helping communities cope with the aftermath of natural disasters through its Tree Recovery campaigns since 2011. For more on the Arbor Day Foundation, visit: www.arborday.org/newjersey