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Trees for Tribs

A Program of the State Tree Nursery at Saratoga

treed buffer along a river
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

Volunteers planting tree seedlings

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.

click to donate to help plant trees

If you are not able to plant trees, you can still take part in reforesting our streams and forests by donating to support tree plantings across New York State for the future of our natural resources. Simply click the Donate to Help Plant Trees button to make your donation today.

Applications will be filled according to the following priorities:

tree seedlings in a bed at the State Nursery
  • 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.

Species Available

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?

Map showing watersheds participating in the Trees for Tribs program.

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

Useful Resources

Upcoming Planting Dates

  • Saturday, October 8 (2-4 PM) - Catskill Fly Fishing Museum
    Join Trees for Tribs, Trout Unlimited and the Catskill Fly Fishing Museum (leaves DEC's website)to restore the banks along the Museum's fishing pond! This project will take place at the Catskill Fly Fishing Museum in Livingston Manor, Sullivan County, NY. Contact the Catskill Fly Fishing Museum via email at or by phone at (845) 439-4810 for more event details.

  • Saturday, October 16 (1-3 PM) - Bronxville Lake (see October 22 & 23)

  • Saturday October 22 & 23 (1-3 PM) - Bronxville Lake
    Join the Bronx River Parkway Reserve Conservancy (leaves DEC's website) for this planting event to reestablish native riparian plants along the Bronxville Lake section on the Bronx River Parkway Reservation. Contact the Bronx River Parkway Conservancy by email at for more details about this event.

Upper Hudson Trees for Tribs

  • Saturday, November 5 (TBD) - Schmidt Meadow Preserve, Jackson, NY
    Join us at the Battenkill Conservancy's Schmidt Meadow Preserve. This spring we planted nearly 300 saplings in a newly established nursery on the Preserve. On Nov 5 will be moving some of these to their permanent homes within the Preserve's Meadow and near the river. Email the Battenkill Conservancy at for full details.

Hudson Estuary Trees for Tribs

For more information on these and other Hudson Estuary Trees for Tribs planting events, contact Beth Roessler by email at

  • Saturday, September 24 (TBD) - Katonah Lake
    Join the Hudson Estuary Trees for Tribs to plant trees along Katonah Lake and one of its tributaries in Lewisboro.
  • Saturday, October 1 (9:15 - 11 AM) - Tappan Reform Church
    Join the Hudson Estuary Trees for Tribs as we plant trees along Sparkill Creek in the Town of Orangetown.
  • Saturday, October 22 (9 AM - 1 PM) - Monhagen Brook
    Join the Hudson Estuary Trees for Tribs as we plant trees along Monhagen Brook in the Town of Wallkill. Lunch will be provided, so please RSVP for this event.
  • Saturday, October 22 (10 AM) - Newburgh
    Help the Hudson River Estuary Trees for Tribs plant trees in Newburgh at the Cronomer/Algonquin Park along the Quassaick Creek.
  • Saturday, October 29 (10 AM - 2 PM)
    Join the Hudson Estuary Trees for Tribs as they plant at Rose Hill Farm along a tributary of Saw Kill Creek in Red Hook.
  • Saturday, October 29 (TBD)
    Join the Hudson Estuary Trees for Tribs in the Village of Cornwall-on-the-Hudson at Pagenstecher Park as we plant trees along a Hudson River tributary.
  • Sunday, October 30 (10 AM)
    Join the Hudson Estuary Trees for Tribs as they plant at Benedict Farm Park along the Wallkill River in Montgomery.

Housatonic Trees for Tribs

  • Saturday, September 24 (9 a.m.) - Dover, NY
    Join the Housatonic Valley Association as they team up with Trees for Tribs to help plant trees! Volunteers will be needed to dig holes, plant trees and shrubs, water and more. Individuals, families and small groups are welcome. Participants will need to wear sturdy footwear. Work gloves, shovels and other digging tools will be useful, but are not required. Please RSVP for this event by contacting Mike Jastremski, Housatonic Valley Association Watershed Conservation Director at (860) 672-6678 or via email at

Upper Susquehanna Trees for Tribs

For more information on Upper Susquehanna events, please contact Stream Buffer Coordinator, Lydia Brinkley at

  • Thursday, September 15 (TBD) - Tioga County
    Join the Upper Susquehanna Coalition as they plant trees to better the water quality in Tioga County.
  • October 11 - 15 (TBD) - Otsego County
    Join the Upper Susquehanna Coalition as they plant trees to better the water quality in Otsego County.
  • October 17 - 22 - Madison County
    Join the Upper Susquehanna Coalition as they plant trees to better the water quality. This is a large tree planting in an agricultural setting and volunteers are needed!

Lower Genesee Trees for Tribs

  • Saturday, September 24 - Silver Springs, NY
    Join Wyoming County Soil and Water Conservation District for this riparian tree planting. Event to be held at 4311 NY-19, Silver Springs, NY 14550. Volunteers are needed for this event! For more information on Lower Genesee events, please contact Wyoming County Soil and Water Conservation District, Megan Boberg via email at
  • Tuesday, October 25 (9 AM - 12 PM) - Honeoye Inlet Wildlife Management Area
    Join Ontario County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Nature Conservancy for this Trees for Tribs tree planting. Event to be held at Honeoye Inlet Wildlife Management Area, off County Road 36, about one mile south of Muller Field Station on the left side of the road. Please dress for the elements. Gloves and shovels recommended, but not required. For more information on this event, please contact Megan Webster, 585-396-1405.

Our Statewide Partners

More about Trees for Tribs:

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    Division of Lands & Forests
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-4250
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