AUGUSTA, Maine — More than 1,000 trees, representing 75 different species, are being offered free of charge to municipalities, schools and nonprofit organizations for community planting, according to officials with the Maine Department of Conservation’s Project Canopy.
Dutton’s Greenhouse and Nursery in Morrill has decided to close operations at the end of the season this year and the owners have decided to donate remaining stock, said Jan Ames Santerre, director of Project Canopy.
“This donation will allow organizations throughout Maine to plant trees in public places where they otherwise would not,” Santerre said. “Towns can plant trees to enhance their downtown, streets, parks and public buildings. Schools can plant them for shade on playgrounds, or to create an educational arboretum.”
There is no limit on the number of free trees each organization can receive, but recipients will be responsible for picking up their trees, while Dutton’s and Maine Forest Service staff will help load orders, the Project Canopy director said.
Sizes range from 5-gallon shrubs to trees anywhere from 1 to 5 inches in diameter, Santerre said. The trees are disease-free, but there will not be any guarantee on their survival, she said.
All recipients must first submit an application with Project Canopy, so donations can be tracked and to minimize problems on the distribution dates.
Two distribution dates in September and October will be set aside to pick up trees at Dutton’s Nursery in Morrill.
For those smaller communities and organization that may not have the ability to transport the trees, there may be opportunities to consolidate transportation with larger service centers and surrounding Tree City USA communities, Santerre said. Project Canopy will work with organizations to make those connections.
To receive the inventory of trees available, and to register, contact Santerre at email@example.com, or 287-4987/
For information on Project Canopy, go to projectcanopy.maine.gov.