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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.

3rd Annual Pot Up Event May 19th, 2017

Trees for Tribs will be hosting the 3rd Annual Pot Up Event on Friday, May 19th at the State Tree Nursery in Saratoga Springs. Volunteers are needed to pot up seedling trees and shrubs in preparation for planting this fall along New York streams to improve wildlife habitat, water quality and storm resiliency.

Please check back often for more event details and to learn how to sign-up for this event!

Trees for Tribs 2017 Events

Mon., May 1st - Sun., May 19th - Trout Releases and Tree Planting Events

Join Croton Trees for Tribs at the Ward Pond Ridge Reserve near Cross River for tree planting events as well as to witness trout releases as part of Trout Unlimited's Trout in the Classroom. Croton Watershed Chapter of Trout Unlimited, West Chester County Parks and NYS Department of Environmental Protection have teamed up to host this series of events.

To find out how you can be involved and to view the various locations and timing of events, visit http://crotonwatershedtu.org/TU/trout-releases (leaves DEC website).

Tues., May 2nd (9:00 a.m. - Complete) - New Russia and Westport

Trees for Tribs is teaming up with Essex County Soil and Water Conservation District and Trout Unlimited to celebrate Arbor Day by planting trees next to streams. Volunteers are needed for this event and should dress for the weather. Planting will occur rain or shine!

Interested volunteers should RSVP to Essex County Soil and Water Conservation District Office via phone: 518-962-8225.

Wed., May 3rd (3 p.m. - 6 p.m.) - Casper Creek at Vassar College

Trees for Tribs is teaming up with Vassar College to plant native trees along Casper Creek. Volunteers are needed for this event!

Interested volunteers should contact Alistair Hill by email alihall@vassar.edu to sign-up, or to gain more details about this event.

Sat., May 6th (9:00 a.m. - 3 p.m.) - Genesee Country Village and Museum, Mumford

Trees for Tribs is teaming up with the Genesee Country Village and Museum to plant native trees along Oatka Creek following an emerald ash borer infestation. Volunteers are needed to help in tree planting efforts to reestablish this riparian forest.

If you are interested in volunteering for this event or would like more event details, please contact Melissa Marszalek at the Genesee Country Village and Museum via phone at: 585-294-8257, or via email: info@gcv.org.

Sat., May 6th (9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.) - Spruce Creek in Town of Hunter

Trees for Tribs is teaming up with NYSDEC Foresters for I Love My Park Day to plant native trees along the Spruce Creek at the Kaaterskill Falls Wild Forest. Volunteers are needed for this event!

Interested volunteers who would like to find out more, or register for this event, please visit the I Love My Park website: http://www.ptny.org/events/i-love-my-park-day. For directions, search the Catskill region and Kaaterskill Falls Wild Forest from the I Love My Parks website.

Sat., May 6th (9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.) - Wallkill River Tributary in Village of New Paltz

Trees for Tribs, the Village of New Paltz and Riverkeeper are teaming up to plant native trees along the Wallkill River Tributary in Sorjourner Truth Park. Volunteers are needed for this event!

Interested volunteers should visit the Riverkeeper website for more information or to register: https://www.riverkeeper.org/news-events/events/rvk-events/save-the-date-6th-annual-riverkeeper-sweep/.

Sat., May 6th (9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.) - Moodna Creek in the Town of Cornwall

Trees for Tribs is teaming up with NYS Parks and Riverkeeper to maintain trees planted along Moodna Creek in Schunnemunk Mountain State Park. Volunteers are needed for this maintenance event!

Interested volunteers can find out more and register for this event at the Riverkeeper website: : https://www.riverkeeper.org/news-events/events/rvk-events/save-the-date-6th-annual-riverkeeper-sweep/.

Sat., May 6th (11 a.m. - 3 p.m.) - Tree Planting on East Delaware River near Halcottsville

Trees for Tribs along with the Ashokan-Pepacton Chapter of Trout Unlimited and Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District/Catskill Stream Buffer Initiative team up for this tree planting event to plant trees for trout!

For more event details, or to attend to help plant trees, please email Tracy Brown by at tbrown@tu.org.

Sat., May 6th (9:00 a.m. - 12 p.m.) - Tree Planting and Vine Cutting at Hunter Brook Preserve in Yorktown Heights

Trees for Tribs is teaming up with the Watershed Agricultural Council and the Westchester Land Trust for this Riverkeeper Sweep event. Volunteers are needed for this tree planting and vine cutting event!


To learn more about this event, or to register to attend, please contact Trees for Tribs coordinator, Brendan Murphy by email at bmurphy@nycwatershed.org.

Fri., May 12th (4 p.m.) - Rosendale Recreation Center

Trees for Tribs is teaming up with the Town of Rosendale's Commission for Conservation of the Environment to plant native trees along a tributary of the Rondout Creek. We are looking for volunteers to help us with this tree planting!

Interested volunteers looking to sign-up for this event, or looking for more event details can contact the Town of Rosendale by email rosendaleenvironmenttal@gmail.com.

Sat., May 13th (9 a.m.) - Wallkill River in the Town of Shawangunk

Trees for Tribs is teaming up with the Town of Shawangunk Environmental Management Council and the Wallkill Valley federal Savings and Loan to plant native trees along the Wallkill River.

Interested volunteers, please contact Dave Haldeman by email at davehaldeman@gmail.com

Sat., May 20th (10 a.m.) - Crystal Lake in the City of Newburgh

Trees for Tribs is teaming up with the Quassaick Creek Watershed Alliance and the City of Newburgh to plant native trees along Crystal Lake.

To volunteer for this event, or to get more details please contact Ted Kohlmann by email kohlmanntllt@aol.com.

Sat., June 4th (10 a.m. - 1 p.m.) - Wallkill River in the Town of Montgomery

Trees for Tribs and the Town of Montgomery CAC are teaming up to plant native trees and shrubs along the Wallkill River at the Benedict Park Farm. Volunteers are needed for this event!

Interested volunteers can contact Patricia Henighan by email at patriciahenighan@frontier.com to RSVP for this event or to find out more event details.

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

Trees for Tribs Documents

Related Information

Our Statewide Partners


More about Trees for Tribs:

  • Contact for this Page
  • Trees for Tribs
    Division of Lands & Forests
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-4250
    518-402-9405
    Send us an email
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