Skip navigation

Free Trees Available for Qualifying Property Owners

February 28, 2017

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 additional 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 when tree planting on their own development sites is impractical.

Find out if your property is located within the eligible areas, and to receive free trees, go to the website:

The Shades of Green program is offered in the following 19 areas:

-Flower/Piney Branch
-Friendship Heights
-Great Seneca
-Montgomery Hills
-North Bethesda
-Shady Grove
-Silver Spring
-White Flint
-White Oak

To better understand Montgomery County’s tree cover, county planners analyze the layer of leaves and branches that cover the ground when viewed from above. High-resolution aerial imagery reveals much lower tree canopy levels in urban areas than in more suburban neighborhoods.  Increasing the number of trees in urban areas will expand the tree canopy cover, resulting in numerous benefits, including the following:

-Beautify urban districts.
-Reduce street temperatures.
-Cool buildings, thereby reducing energy demands.
-Support the local economy.
-Improve street ambiance and quality of place.
-Enhance water, air and habitat quality.
-Reduce greenhouse gases.
-Reduce heat island effect.

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