MONTCLAIR, NJ – The Montclair Environmental Commission and Montclair Public Library have teamed up to celebrate Arbor Day by offering residents FREE native-to-New Jersey tree seedlings. The seedling give-aways will take place at the Library café on South Fullerton Avenue on Friday, April 26, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., and on Saturday, April 27, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The beautiful and majestic Red Bud, Pin Oak and Black Gum tree seedlings will be available while supplies last. Last year’s event saw 250 native trees given away to residents.


Not only do trees offer shade from the sun, but native species also provide homes and food for birds, pollinators, and other native wildlife experiencing growing pressure due to climate change, pesticides and development. Native trees improve the visual appeal of a neighborhood, increase property values, reduce home cooling costs, and remove air pollutants, among many other benefits.


Can’t make the giveaway dates?

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Plant a native tree anyway and help to strengthen Montclair’s canopy and environment. Local garden centers such as Orange Garden Center and Cedar Grove Nursery carry native to New Jersey trees. Select your tree from the list of native trees that are appropriate to plant in Montclair. You can find this list on the township website Shade Tree Department section.


Inspire others


When you plant your new native tree this spring or fall, email a photo of yourself and your new yard tree to the Montclair Environmental Commission – – so your tree can be counted in efforts to grow Montclair’s tree canopy. Your tree will also be included in a visual display of community tree plantings for all to see.


Protecting trees


The Montclair Environmental Commission suggests other ways to protect trees this spring:

  • Don’t use toxic pesticides, herbicides or insecticides which can harm birds, pollinators, wildlife and the health of your soil that trees depend on.
  • Prune the deadwood and preserve the health of your trees.
  • Have ash trees inspected for disease. There is an infestation of Emerald Ash Borer insects in New Jersey which affect ash trees.
  • If you need to remove a tree for disease, or another reason, be sure to replace it within 12 months as per Township Ordinance § 324-5. Replace with native species only. Select a native tree species according to the Township Shade Tree Department appropriate tree list.
  • Be sure to plant your tree correctly. No mulch volcano. Only mulch in the shape of a donut. Expose the roots near the trunk so they can breathe.
  • Take it a step further and plant other native plants in your yard along with native trees. Plants that will attract birds, pollinators and other beneficial insects to your yard.

What Montclair’s precious tree canopy looks like in 20 years is up to all of us. If we each plant one yard tree now, we can start to offset tree loss due to age, climate change, disease, and storms. We can continue to benefit from the wonderous ecological services that native trees provide.


For more information contact S. Aptman, Montclair Environmental Commission, 917-825-5538 or D. Quinn at the Montclair Public Library, 973-744-0500. Ext. 2280