Trees for Tribs
A Program of the State Tree Nursery at Saratoga
Example of treed buffer along a river
Since 2007, New York State's Trees for Tribs Program has been working to reforest New York's tributaries, or small creeks and streams, which flow into and feed larger rivers and lakes. The goal of the program is to plant young trees and shrubs along stream corridors, also known as riparian areas, in order to prevent erosion, increase flood water retention, improve wildlife and stream habitat, as well as protect water quality. Trees for Tribs has engaged more than 7,600 volunteers in planting more than 66,000 trees and shrubs at 470 sites across New York State.
Trees for Tribs provides landowners, municipalities, and conservation organizations with low-cost or no-cost native plants and free technical assistance. Native bareroot trees and shrubs are provided by the Saratoga State Tree Nursery, which has specialized in reforesting New York State since 1911.
Trees for Tribs focuses on comprehensive watershed restoration designed to protect "green infrastructure," and serves as the first line of defense against storm and flooding events, protecting property, water quality, and fish and wildlife habitat. In addition to planting trees, the program also promotes best management practices for communities and encourages new programs, policies and investments in tributary protection.
How to Get Involved
DEC's Trees for Tribs initiative offers low-cost to no-cost native trees and shrubs for qualifying streamside restoration planting projects. Trees for Tribs currently has six watershed Coordinators who can assist with plant selection, design a site planting plan and provide additional technical assistance to ensure your project's success.
Trees for Tribs is accepting applications (PDF, 140 KB) for planting sites in the following coordinated watersheds: Champlain, Mohawk, Hudson Estuary, Croton, Housatonic, lower Genesee, and Chesapeake. Applicants in the Hudson Estuary and Croton watersheds should apply directly to the Hudson Estuary Program and Croton Program (leaves DEC website). Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis with preference given to those received by March 1 for spring planting.
Applications will be filled according to the following priorities:
- Local non-profit watershed groups, land trusts, and other environmental organizations will be given preference.
- Project sites located in high profile, public or highly visible areas, such as town parks or adjacent to roads will be given preference.
- Sorry, plants are not available for:
- large projects where buffer restoration costs should have been included in the project proposal from the outset, particularly projects involving channel realignment or other major excavation work.
- state and federally funded riparian buffer programs, which provide cost-share and other funding for planting trees and shrubs.
Native tree and shrub species are supplied at no or low cost from DEC's State Tree Nursery in Saratoga. Species planting will be determined on a project by project basis depending on existing conditions. Additional species/plants are available for purchase at the State Nursery's web page. Bareroot tree seedlings are used in the spring. Containerized plugs are typically used for fall plantings.
Where is Trees for Tribs offered?
Funding for the Trees for Tribs program is currently available in the watersheds highlighted in the map. Program offerings may vary slightly based on location and staff availability.
Not on the map? Contact the Trees for Tribs Coordinator to determine your program eligibility.
Links to Local Trees for Tribs Programs
- Genesee River Basin Trees for Tribs (leaves DEC website)
- Croton Trees for Tribs (leaves DEC website)
- Project Application (PDF, 140 KB) - excluding the Hudson Estuary Program and Croton Program (leaves DEC website)
- Planting Guide (PDF, 769 KB)
- Maintenance Guide (PDF, 1.3 MB)
- Maintenance Calendar Checklist (PDF, 2.65 MB)
Our Statewide Partners
- USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) - New York
- USDA Forest Service Chesapeake Bay Program
- Treecycler (leaves DEC website)
- The Restoration Tree Trust
- Hudson River Estuary Program
- Upper Susquehanna Coalition (leaves DEC website)
- Au Sable River Association (leaves DEC website)
- Mohawk River Basin Program (leaves DEC website)
- Watershed Agricultural Council (leaves DC website)
- Battenkill Conservancy (leaves DEC website)
- Essex County Soil and Water Conservation District (leaves DEC website)
- Clinton County Soil and Water Conservation District (leaves DEC website)
- Wyoming County Soil and Water Conservation District (leaves DEC website)
- Friends of Scarsdale Parks (leaves DEC website)
- Housatonic Valley Association (leaves DEC website)
Upcoming Planting Events
- Sat., May 7th (8:30 AM) - Connetquot River State Park, Long Island
Join DEC, Trees for Tribs and Parks staff as we replant after southern pine beetle devastation and restore this unique pitch pine habitat to the Park and celebrate I Love My Park Day.
Learn more about the day's events on the Friends of Connetquot River State Park Preserve's website (leaves DEC website).
- Fri., May 13th (8:30 AM - 3 PM) and Sat. May 14th (9 AM - 3 PM) - Saratoga Tree Nursery Pot Up Event, Saratoga Springs
Join Trees for Tribs and Saratoga PLAN as we prepare plants for fall plantings by potting up bareroot trees and shrubs. Lunch will be provided and RSVP's required. Please email Trees for Tribs Coordinator, Sarah Walsh, to let us know you are attending.
View the event flyer (PDF, 400 KB). Learn more about our event partner, Saratoga PLAN (leaves DEC website).
- Sat., May 14th (10 AM - 4 PM) - Harwood Park, Scarsdale
Join the Friends of Scarsdale Parks (leaves DEC website) as they continue to reclaim Harwood Park from invasive species along a tributary to the Bronx River. Community Planting Day Flier (PDF, 1.5 MB)
Upper Hudson Trees for Tribs
- Sat., April 30th (10 AM off Skellie Road) - Schmidt Meadow Preserve, Jackson
Join the Battenkill Conservancy (leaves DEC website) on their newly acquired Schmidt Meadow Preserve as they assess invasive species and create nursery beds to prepare trees and shrubs for planting this fall.
Hudson Estuary Trees for Tribs
- Fri., April 29th (9 AM - 4 PM) - NYS DEC Region 3 Office Pot Up Event, New Paltz
Join Hudson River Estuary Trees for Tribs staff and DEC as they prepare bareroot trees and shrubs for fall plantings.
- Sat., April 30th (10 AM) - Greenvale Park, Poughkeepsie
Join Hudson River Estuary Trees for Tribs staff and the Poughkeepsie community as they plant trees in Greenvale Park.
- Sat., May 7th (9:30 AM - 12:30 PM) - Sojourner Truth Park, New Paltz
Join Hudson River Estuary Trees for Tribs staff and the New Paltz community as they plant trees in Sojourner Truth Park.
- Sat., May 7th (1 PM - 4 PM) - Schunnemunk State Park, Cornwall
Join Hudson River Estuary Trees for Tribs staff and the Cornwall community to check-in on Park trees for this maintenance event.
- Sat., May 7th (1:30 PM) - Red Hook Recreation Park, Red Hook
Join Hudson River Estuary Trees for Tribs staff and the Red Hook community as they plant trees in Red Hook Recreation Park.
- Sun., May 8th (10 AM) - Falling Waters Preserve, Saugerties
Join Hudson River Estuary Trees for Tribs staff and the Saugerties community as they plant trees in Falling Waters Preserve.
- Sat., May 14th (9 AM - 1 PM) - Monhagen Brook, Wawayanda (RSVP required)
Join Hudson River Estuary Trees for Tribs staff and private landowners as they plant trees along the Monhagen Brook to improve water quality and bank stabilization. RSVP's are required. Please call Stream Buffer Coordinator, Beth Roessler to RSVP: (845) 256-2253.
- Sat., May 21st (9:30 AM - 2 PM) - Cronomer Park, Newburgh
Join Hudson River Estuary Trees for Tribs staff and the community of Newburgh as they plant trees and shrubs in Cronomer Park.
For more information on events occurring within the Hudson Estuary, please contact Stream Buffer Coordinator, Beth Roessler.
Upper Susquehanna Trees for Tribs
- Sat., May 14th (10 AM) - Hickory Park, Owego
Join the Upper Susquehanna Coalition and DEC staff as they plant Hickory trees in Hickory Park for the Owego Community to enjoy.
- Tues. May 24th (TBD) - Wed. May 25th Jackson Park, Binghamton
Join the Upper Susquehanna Coalition and DEC staff as they plant trees and shrubs in Jackson Park to help with flood resiliency in the Town Of Binghamton.
For more information on Upper Susquehanna events, please contact Upper Susquehanna Buffer Coordinator, Lydia Brinkley: firstname.lastname@example.org.