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Trees for Tribs

A Program of the State Tree Nursery at Saratoga

Trees for Tribs is now accepting applications (PDF) (80 KB) for planting sites in the following watersheds: Champlain, Mohawk, Susquehanna/Chemung. Applicants in the Hudson Estuary and Croton watersheds should apply directly to the Hudson Estuary program and Croton Program (see link in right column). Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis with preference given to those received by March 1 for spring planting and August 1 for fall planting.
treed buffer along a river
Example of treed buffer along a river

Modeled after the successful Hudson Estuary "Trees for Tribs" (tribs as in tributaries) program, New York State's Trees for Tribs program engages volunteers in restoring thousands of feet of streamside buffer through tree planting using native bare-root stock from the Saratoga State Tree Nursery. The program provides land owners and local governments with low-cost or no-cost native planting materials and free technical assistance. Coordinating with local, state and federal agencies, Trees for Tribs focuses on comprehensive watershed restoration designed to protect the "green infrastructure," the first line of defense against storm and flooding events, as well as property, water quality, fish and wildlife. Trees for Tribs promotes best management practices for communities and encourages new programs, policies and investments in tributary protection.

DEC's "Trees for Tribs" Initiative offers free native trees and shrubs for qualifying riparian buffer planting/ restoration projects. Trees for Tribs Coordinators can assist with plant selection, designing a planting plan, and other technical information to improve the odds of success for your project.

Application deadlines are: March 1 for Spring and August 1 for Fall. Reserving plants early is advisable (applications are accepted after deadlines, but are at a disadvantage).

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 proposals should have included buffer restoration costs from the outset, particularly projects involving channel realignment or other major excavation work

Species available:

tree seedlings in a bed at the State Nursery

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 to the right. Program offerings may vary slightly based on location and staff availability. Expansion to the Genesee River Watershed debuts in Spring 2015.

Support Tree Planting in New York State

The public can support forest conservation and enhancement by donating to the DEC Tree Planting Fund through the Natural Heritage Trust (NHT). Donations will help the State Tree Nursery at Saratoga provide free and reduced cost seedlings to the Trees for Tribs Program and the School Seedling program, among other purposes.

Our Statewide Partners

  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) - New York
  • USDA Forest Service Chesapeake Bay Program
  • Treecycler
  • The Restoration Tree Trust
  • Hudson River Estuary Program
  • Upper Susquehanna Coalition
  • Au Sable River Association
  • Mohawk River Basin Program
  • Watershed Agricultural Council

More about Trees for Tribs: