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Energy-Savings Trees

The Energy-Saving Trees program is a community tree planting program that encourages the strategic planting of trees for the greatest energy- and money-saving benefits. The program combines trees with an interactive web experience to help homeowners and communities save energy and money by strategically planting trees to maximize their environmental benefits.

Arbor Day Energy-Savings Trees

Right tree, right place

Planting the right tree in the right place is key to maximizing the energy-saving benefits that trees provide. When planted properly, a single tree can save a homeowner up to 20% on energy costs. This program is administered by the National Arbor Day Foundation. In Rhode Island the program is managed by the Division of Forest Environment’s Urban and Community Forestry Program, with funding provided by the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.


Energy-Saving Trees in RI

Rhode Island residents can apply for a free tree and pick it up at pick-up locations across the state. Applications must be completed online through the application portal. DEM Divison of Forest Environment offers 2 tree giveaways a year – on specific Saturdays in April/May and Sept/October.

Steps to getting a free tree:

  • Watch for the announcement that the program is open for applications on the DFE Facebook page or DEM press releases in March and August.
  • Go to the Energy-Saving Trees portal and enter your location.
  • Use the interactive tool to determine the best locations to plant a tree for energy savings.
  • Review the trees available and select the tree that is best suited for the location to provide the maximum benefits.
    • Look at the space you have available on your property.
    • Consider overhead and below ground conflicts.
    • Look at the mature size of the trees available and select the most suitable choice.
    • Complete the application and select your pick-up location/date.
    • Pick up your tree at the date and time you selected.
    • Take your tree home and plant it as soon as possible.

2020 Tree Giveaways

Spring: due to COVID-19 health crisis, the Spring 2020 giveaway was converted to a mail-order program through the Arbor Day Foundation.

Fall: To support COVID-19 safety guidelines, the fall giveaway will also be a mail-order program through the Arbor Day Foundation. The application portal will open on September 22, 2020.


For registration and portal assistance, contact the Arbor Day Foundation at 1-855-234-3801.

For questions about the Energy-Saving Trees Program, contact Lou Allard, Urban and Community Forestry Program Coordinator for DEM Division of Forest Environment at 401-222-2445 ext. 2056 or by email at