Tree Seedlings (File Photo/Flickr)
Tree Seedlings (File Photo/Flickr)

Free tree seedlings will be available to Toms River residents in the month of April as part of the New Jersey Forest Service’s New Jersey Tree Recovery Campaign.

From 10 am to 2 p.m. (or until all trees have been distributed) on April 24, 2021, residents will be able to pick up tree seedlings at Riverwood Park and the Third Avenue Parking Lot in Ortley Beach. Seedlings, available on a first come, first served basis, come with instructions on how to store, care for, and plant the trees. 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 in the future. Residents should plant the seedlings within two days after pick-up in order to prevent the roots from drying out.

Organizers say the event staff is working hard to keep participants safe and follow the State’s Covid-19 recommendations. You will not need to get out of your car, an announcement said. Volunteers will bring the sign in sheet and your chosen trees to you. Volunteers can place the trees in your trunk or passenger side at your comfort level


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The goal of the state’s Tree Recovery Campaign to distribute over 600,000 tree seedlings to New Jersey residents over the course of seven years was met in 2019.  With natural disasters like Superstorm Sandy, and the damage caused by several new invasive insects to New Jersey, the state needs more new tree seedlings than ever before, according to wildlife officials. Therefore, the campaign is moving into its seventh year. The program is a joint effort between Toms River Township, New Jersey Forest Service, New Jersey Soil Conservation Districts, Arbor Day Foundation, iCIMS, FedEx, State Farm and International Paper.

“When properly planted and maintained, trees can be assets to a community,” an announcement said. “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.”

Anyone with questions is asked to contact Stephanie Baumgartner at 732-341-1000, ext. 8224 or email sbaumgartner@tomsrivertownship.com.