Free Trees Available, Just in Time for Fall Planting: Registration Begins August 25 for Popular Energy-Saving Trees Program

Published on Monday, August 21, 2023

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) – along with partners the RI Tree Council, Rhode Island Nursery and Landscape Association, and the Arbor Day Foundation – is giving 1,000 trees away to Rhode Islanders this fall through the Energy-Saving Trees program. Registration opens Friday, August 25th. Now in its seventh year, this popular semiannual program helps Rhode Islanders save energy and lower their utility bills by strategically planting trees on their property.

“Planting trees in our neighborhoods makes them greener and provides shade to keep people cooler and healthier in hot weather. These are investments in our communities and the quality of life throughout Rhode Island, particularly in our cities. From an environmental perspective, planting a tree in the right place can improve air quality, capture and store carbon, and help manage stormwater runoff,” said DEM Director Terry Gray. “It’s a terrific way for Rhode Islanders to reduce their energy costs today and in the years to come, and a tangible way to stand up to climate change.”

Planting the right tree in the right place is the key to maximizing the energy-saving benefits trees provide. When planted properly, a single tree can save homeowners money on energy costs by shading their home in the summer and blocking cold winds in the winter. Additional benefits include improving air quality, reducing stormwater runoff, and beautifying your surroundings.

The fall program will offer five species to choose from. Species will include trident maple, river birch, sweetgum, willow oak, and dawn redwood. The process to reserve your free tree only takes a few minutes.

  1. Sign up at and map your house by using the interactive mapping tool.
  2. Select the right species by choosing from the list of available trees.
  3. Reserve your tree and select your pick-up location from the following list of locations.

Richmond Elementary School: 190 Kingstown Rd, Richmond, 02898

  • Saturday, September 9, 9 AM-12 PM

 Dexter Training Ground Park: Parade St & Willow St, Providence, 02909

  • Saturday, September 16, 9 AM-12 PM

 Colt State Park: Route 114, Bristol, 02809 (As in previous years, DEM will set up in the parking lot by the main office)

  • Saturday, September 23, 9 AM-12 PM

RI Tree Council:  2953 Hartford Avenue, Johnston, 02919

  • Saturday, September 30, 9 AM-12 PM

The trees will be about four to six feet tall each and are in three-gallon containers. These trees fit in most cars for transportation to your home. All program participants must be Rhode Island residents and pre-register online beginning on August 25 to reserve their free tree.

Funding for the program is provided by the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. For online registration assistance, please contact the Arbor Day Foundation at 1-855-234-3801. For more information about the Rhode Island Energy-Saving Trees Program, please visit the DEM Division of Agriculture and Forest Environment Urban and Community Forestry website or follow DEM’s Division of Agriculture and Forest Environment on Facebook. For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit Follow DEM on Facebook, Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM), or Instagram (@rhodeisland.dem) for timely updates.