In September 2023, Howard County is distributing 3,000 trees to residents.
Registration for the 2023 Annual Tree Giveaway is now closed. All trees have been reserved. If you would like to be sent information prior to next year’s tree giveaway, please sign up here for a notification.
Tree Pick-up Locations
Tree pick-up locations will be at West Friendship Park in West Friendship and Rockburn Park WEST in Elkridge. You will be able to choose which park you would like to pick up your tree.
- West Friendship Park- 12985 Frederick Rd, West Friendship, MD 21794
- Rockburn Park West- 6105 Rockburn Park Road, Elkridge, MD 21075
Tree Pick-Up Dates
You will also be able to choose which of the following dates and times to pick up your tree.
- Wednesday, September 20, 4-7pm
- Thursday, September 21, Noon-4pm
- Saturday, September 23, 10am-2pm
YOU MUST PICK UP YOUR TREE AT THE LOCATION AND ON THE DATE YOU SELECT.
Each site will only have inventory for that site and date. If you cannot pick up your tree on either of these dates, please do not reserve a tree. You may have another person pick up your tree for you. Have them bring a printout of your reservation.
- When you reserve your tree, your reservation information will appear. Please take a screen shot of your reservation. You should also receive a confirmation email with this information.
- At pickup, you will need to bring your printout or picture on your phone of the tree reservation.
- If you wish to avoid traffic and wait times do not arrive within the first 45 minutes of opening. That is when the most people show up.
- If you arrive at the incorrect location, you will be given directions to the other location.
- If you miss your Wednesday or Thursday pickup, you may pick up your tree on Saturday, but you may not pick up a Saturday tree on Wednesday or Thursday (our delivery for each pickup day is specific to that day).
- It is recommended to bring a bag, tarp or blanket to lay your tree on to keep your car clean.
- All trees will be rooted in 5-gallon containers and will vary is height from 3’ to 10’. Please plan accordingly.
- Please be prepared to load your tree into your car without assistance.
If you are unable to pick up your tree, someone may pick it up for you. (Make sure to provide them with a copy of your "receipt."
How to Plant a Tree
Please view our instructional video to learn how to properly plant your tree. For more information on where to plant your tree and safe tree placement, please refer to the information provided in the “Tree Planting and Maintenance Guidelines” section below. Always remember to call Miss Utility before you dig.
To learn more details about these tree species, visit https://plants.usda.gov. Trees improve the environment in terms of climate, storm water, energy savings and economic value to homeowners. Learn more about tree benefits at ArborDay.org.
About the Trees
The trees will be in 5-gallon containers and approximately 3 to 10 feet tall, although Pawpaw will be at smaller at 18”-36”. All species are native to Maryland, acclimated to our climate and provide food and shelter for wildlife. Please utilize the information below to pick a tree best suited to the conditions of your yard.
Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica)– grows to a height of 30-75′ with a width of 20-50′. Lesser known but lovely, prefers partial shade to full sun and can tolerate dry, moist, or seasonally wet soils. Has a greenish flower in the spring, with a black fleshy fruit and stunning red fall foliage. The Black gum is a versatile species with high wildlife value.
Red Maple (Acer rubrum)- grows to a height of 40-100′ with a spread of 30-75′. Prefers full sun to partial shade and moist to wet soils. Often found in swampy areas and may need extra watering if planted in a dry area. Has a small red flower early in spring and vibrant red to yellow fall foliage. The Red Maple is the earliest spring bloomer.
Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)– grows to a height of 20-50′ with a spread of 20-50′. Prefers partial shade but is often seen growing in full sunlight as well. Prefers dry to moist soils. Grows well in open forests and along forest edges. White spring flowers with a red to orange berry and scarlet foliage in the fall. The Flowering Dogwood has high wildlife value, with fall migrant birds relying on its berries.
Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)- grows to a height of 20-35’ with a spread of 20-35’. Prefers partial sunlight to full shade but is often seen growing in full sun as well. Prefers well drained to moist soils. Tolerates a variety of locations but grows well as an understory species and along streambanks. Pink to purple spring flowers with a seedpod in the fall and golden yellow foliage. The Eastern Redbud is a nitrogen fixing species.
Common Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana)- grows to a height of 50-75’ with a spread of 35-50’. Prefers full to partial sunlight and dry to moist soils. Will grow in a variety of conditions including woodland and open fields, as long as there is no standing water and some sunlight. Persimmon will produce edible fruits when given enough sunlight and have a high wildlife value. In the spring they have a yellowish flower and provide berries in the fall.
Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor)- grows to a height of 60-100’ with a spread of 50-75’. Prefers full or partial sunlight and moist to wet soils. Often found along streams and in bottomlands but can thrive in a variety of environments. Swamp White Oak produce acorns and have a high wildlife value.
Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana)- grows to a height of 12-30’ with a spread of 12-30’. Can tolerate a variety of light levels from full sun to shade and prefers moist to wet soils. Often found in forested wetlands or on streambanks and pond edges. The Sweetbay Magnolia is semi-evergreen and may lose its leaves during a cold winter. In the spring it will produce large cream-colored flowers and a red berry in the fall. The Sweetbay Magnolia being given away are multi-stem/clump.
Pawpaw (Asimina triloba)- grows to a height of 20-35’ with a spread of 20-35’. Prefers full sun but does well as an understory species in partial shade. Prefers moist soils and can often be found growing in bottomlands and river valleys. Pawpaw produce large fruits which are edible. The Pawpaw being given away are smaller than other species choices at only 18-36”.
Alleghany Serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis)- grows to a height of 15-25’ with a spread of 15-20’. They do well in full sun and partial shade and can handle moist and dry soils. Serviceberry is often found growing in rich woods, swamp margins, and clearings. Small white flowers in the spring, red berries in the fall, and a fall foliage color of orange or red.
All tree facts listed above are from the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service “Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping: Chesapeake Bay Watershed.”