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Trees for Tribs

A Program of the Colonel William F. Fox Memorial Saratoga Tree Nursery

Since 2007, Trees for Tribs has engaged more than 8,700 volunteers in planting more than 101,400 trees and shrubs at 600+ sites across New York State.

NYSDEC's Trees for Tribs is a statewide program that has been working to reforest New York's tributaries - small creeks and streams that flow into larger rivers and lakes. The program's goal is to plant trees and shrubs along streams to create a forested riparian (streamside) buffer that helps decrease erosion, reduce flooding damage, improve wildlife and stream habitat, and protect water quality.

The Importance of Streamside Buffers

Aerial view of a river with trees growing along the water
Example of a treed buffer along a river

Vegetation, such as trees, shrubs, and grasses, along waterways creates a natural buffer that protects the water and provides many benefits. An established streamside buffer:

  • slows down and filters run off, preventing pollutants from getting into the water,
  • intercepts and slows water from heavy rains, reducing the instances of flooding,
  • shades streams, creating cooler temperature conditions to support fish species such as trout,
  • holds soil in place, preventing streambanks from eroding away during heavy rains, and
  • provides food and habitat for invertebrates, fish and other wildlife.

DEC's Trees for Tribs Initiatives

Buffer in a Bag

Through Buffer in a Bag, NYSDEC's Trees for Tribs and the Saratoga Tree Nursery provide landowners with a free bag of bare-root trees and shrubs to enhance a streamside area on their property. Each Buffer in a Bag kit contains a variety of native trees and shrubs that are well suited for streamside planting. Learn more about Buffer in a Bag.

Watch the Forest Grow Initiative

DEC's Watch the Forest Grow Initiative is a tool used to demonstrate site recovery at streamside planting and timber management areas. Native trees and shrubs are planted at these sites to improve wildlife habitat, water quality and storm resilience. Learn more about the Watch the Forest Grow Initiative.

Hudson Estuary Trees for Tribs

The Hudson River Estuary Program supports streamside plantings in the Hudson Valley. Owners or managers of properties near streams in the Hudson Estuary Watershed may apply for assistance for planting projects. Learn more about Hudson Estuary Trees for Tribs.

Other New York State Organizations that Support Riparian Plantings

The links below each leave DEC's website.

Support Tree 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 the right (leaves DEC's website) to make your donation today.

Useful Resources

Related Information

More about Trees for Tribs:

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  • Contact for this Page
  • Trees for Tribs
    Division of Lands & Forests
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-4250
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