ROXBURY, NJ - Residents can get free seedlings on Arbor Day in a program designed to help communities whose trees were lost in Hurricane Sandy.

The seedlings will be distributed on Arbor Day (April 24) at the Roxbury Department of Public Works building at 96 Dell Avenue in Kenvil. They will be available between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis.

The tree givaway is part of the New Jersey Tree Recovery Campaign which plans to distribute more than 500,000 seedlings to New Jersey residents in the next five years.

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The trees will come with storage, planting and care instructions. "The guides help residents choose the right place on a property to plant a tree while keeping in mind the tree's full growth size in the future," said a statement from Roxbury Recreation Department Program Director Sandie DiDomenico. "Residents should plant the seedlings within two days after pick-up in order to prevent the roots from drying out."

According to the state Forestry Services - one of the sponsors of the seedling handout -38 tree and shrub species are being distributed, with the types varying by region. Some locations will have up to 15 species at hand, possibly including dogwood, maple, bayberry, pine and oak.

For more information, contact DiDomenico at 973-448-2016 or email her at didomenicos@roxburynj.us.

"When properly planted and maintained, trees can be an asset to a community," noted DiDomenico. "They improve the visual appeal of a neighborhood or business district, increase property values, reduce home cooling costs, remove air pollutants and provide wildlife habitat among many other benefits."

The tree distribution campaign is a joint effort of Roxbury, New Jersey Forestry Services, New Jersey Soil Conservation Districts, Sustainable Jersey, Arbor Day Foundation, Brothers International, BJ's Wholesale Club, Wyndham Vacation Resorts and FedEx.