DEM offering 1,000 free trees to Rhode Island residents

Trees planted properly on a homeowner’s property can reduce energy use & costs, and can benefit the environment.

By: Tim Studebaker

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – For the 7th year in a row, the Rhode Island DEM is back with a program aimed at helping homeowners beautify their property, reduce their energy costs, and help absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, all by giving away 1,000 free trees.

DEM Spokesperson Michael Healey says, “They really serve a vital function not only in our culture and in our economy, but of course in our environment, our natural environment.”

Planting a deciduous tree, a tree that loses its leaves in the fall, in the right spot can reduce your energy usage and costs.  During the summer when the tree has leaves, it shades your home, reducing the need for air conditioning.  During the winter when the leaves are gone, sunlight can get through and help warm your home, reducing the need for heating.

Healey says, “According to the US Forestry Service Center for Urban Forest Research, just three trees placed properly around your house can reduce your energy costs by 30%.”

Trees can also reduce storm water runoff, increase biodiversity, and remove carbon from the atmosphere.

Healey says, “Any tree helps fight climate change because trees absorb carbon dioxide through the natural process of photosynthesis, and they store the carbon and emit pure oxygen.”

Registration is already open, and we’re told the trees go quickly.  If you miss your chance this fall, the DEM runs the same program each fall and spring so you’ll get another shot next year.

Healey says, “We’re just grateful that so many Rhode Islanders take advantage of this program and do their part to help fight climate change.”

For more information visit the DEM website: http://www.dem.ri.gov/urbanforestry

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Categories: News, Rhode Island