NYS offers tree seedlings for free or at low cost

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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is offering tree seedlings to the public for planting this spring.

"Buffer in a Bag" — The state's Trees for Tribs program has started "Buffer in a Bag," an initiative to increase riparian buffers. Qualifying public and private landowners may apply for a free bag of 25 tree and shrub seedlings to plant along streams, rivers, or lakes to help stabilize banks, decrease erosion, protect water quality, and improve wildlife habitat.

To qualify, landowners must have property that borders at least 50 feet of a stream, river, or lake, and provide photos and map coordinates of the planting location. Landowners with 100 feet or more may apply for up to two bags of seedlings a year. A total of 350 bags will be available statewide for this first round of applications. Recipients will be chosen on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit Visit dec.ny.gov/animals/115903.html for more information or applications. Applications are due by 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3.

Native trees — Did you know that the state's Saratoga Tree Nursery is the oldest state tree nursery in the country? Be a part of the 100-plus-year tradition of conservation plantings by purchasing seedlings during the nursery's spring sale, going on now through May 9. More than 40 species of native trees and shrubs are available at low cost. Several species are already low in stock, so be sure to order by phone for the most up-to-date availability information. For more information visit dec.ny.gov/animals/75799.html or call 518-581-1439.

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