MONTCLAIR, NJ - The Montclair Township Council officially approved a proclamation naming April 28th as Arbor Day in Montclair! Residents looking to enrich their yards and help preserve Montclair’s precious shade tree canopy, can pick up free tree seedlings on Sunday April 30th between 9am and noon. Shade trees can reduce increase property values, reduce cooling costs, remove carbon and air pollutants, and provide wildlife habitats, among other benefits.

The event, hosted by the Montclair Environmental Commission, will be held on the northeast edge of Edgemont Memorial Park. Montclair residents can come by to pick up free 2 foot high tree seedlings, for as long as supplies last. The varieties will include Flowering Dogwood, Black Gum, Eastern White Pine and Northern Red Oak (the NJ state tree).

Families can also participate in a fun tree scavenger hunt and earn the chance to win prizes donated by Montclair’s American Royal Hardware and Learning Express, as well as a Watchung Booksellers gift basket worth $50 for one winner.

Sign Up for E-News

They will also learn about participation in the poster contest, If Trees Could Speak, running from April 28th through May 8th for children in grades K-5th-. This poster contest is designed by the Montclair Environmental Commission and co-sponsored with Whole Foods Market Montclair and supported by the Montclair Public Library. Education materials will also be available on planting, caring for trees and managing potentially diseased trees on residential properties.

The tree seedling giveaway is offered as part of the New Jersey Tree Recovery Campaign, a project overseen by the state and organized in coordination with the Township Community Services Department. Last year 350 tree seedlings were distributed to residents. The seedlings will come with instructions on how to store, care for and where to plant them. The guides help residents choose the right place on a property to plant a tree while keeping in mind the tree's full-grown size. Residents should plant the seedlings within two days after receiving them to prevent the roots from drying out.

The giveaway is open to all Montclair residents and property owners. The Tree Recovery Campaign is a collaboration that includes Montclair, New Jersey State Forestry Services, New Jersey Soil Conservation Districts, Sustainable Jersey, Arbor Day Foundation, Brothers International, BJ's Wholesale Club, Wyndham Vacation Resorts and FedEx.

The Tree Recovery Campaign’s intention is to distribute more than 500,000 tree seedlings to New Jersey residents during the five years that it is active. This is its third year running. Come by to have some fun and play your part in protecting Montclair’s precious shade tree canopy.