Free Trees Available for Qualifying Property Owners through Shades of Green Program

September 25, 2018

Shades of Green

Residents in the county’s urban areas are eligible to receive free trees from the Montgomery County Planning Department’s Shades of Green program

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is offering free trees to qualifying property owners in certain urban areas of Montgomery County.

The Shades of Green program was launched in 2012 as a pilot program and has expanded to numerous areas of the county that have a high level of impervious surfaces. The goal of this initiative is to enhance the tree canopy cover, reduce heat island effect and beautify the community. The program is financed through the Forest Conservation Fund, which primarily consists of fees paid by developers in lieu of planting trees on their sites when such plantings are infeasible.

To determine if your property is located within one of the eligible areas and to apply to receive free trees, go to the Shades of Green website.

“This is an important program that provides residents with free trees that help enhance not only their properties but also the community as a whole,” says Environmental Planner Tina Schneider of the Planning Department. “Trees lower street and building temperatures, improve air quality, filter runoff and increase property values and quality of life.”

To participate in the Shades of Green program, property owners must comply with the following rules:

  • Trees cannot be planted in street rights-of-way. Rights-of-way are publicly owned lands that typically include streets and sidewalks.
  • Applicants must submit a completed online tree-planting request form.
  • Planners will respond to applications within 48 hours.
  • A site evaluation must be scheduled with the property owner to confirm adequacy of space and location.

If your property is not within one of the eligible areas or otherwise doesn’t qualify for Shades of Green, check out other Montgomery County tree-planting programs such as the Planning Department’s Leaves for Neighborhoods program and the Department of Environmental Protection’s Tree Montgomery program.

For more information, contact planner Tina Schneider at tel. 301-495-2101 or, and visit the Shades of Green website.