Tree Species Availability for Stillmeadow Community Fellowship Giveaway on May 21st, 2022

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Take home your own free tree!

Blue Water Baltimore is partnering with the Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability, TreeBaltimore and Stillmeadow Community Fellowship to offer residents a variety of native tree species for FREE! From small flowering and fruiting trees to large canopy trees, each one makes a difference in our city. Trees cool and clean our air, absorb stormwater, increase biodiversity, and beautify our neighborhoods.

How it works

  • Free trees are for residents of Baltimore County or Baltimore City only. By accepting a tree, you are agreeing to plant it on your property/with permission from property owner within 4 weeks of the giveaway date (by June 18th, 2022).
  • Trees will be available via pre-registration beginning May 7th. We will have plenty of extras for walk-ups during the event. Pre-registered trees MUST be picked up between 12-2pm on May 21st, 2022 at Stillmeadow Community Fellowship. Any unclaimed trees will be made available for walk-ups after 2pm.
  • Free trees are for planting in your property in the front/back yard only. Not in a pot or container. Not in a street tree bed. (If you are a resident of Baltimore City and would like to request a new STREET tree, use this form instead.)
  • There is a limit of 3 pre-registered trees per household. Remember, understory trees (serviceberry and sweetbay magnolia) are limited to only ONE per species per household. All other trees allow up to 2-3.
  • All trees are first-come, first-serve, while supplies last.
  • Note: This website is intended to provide general information only. Always seek the advice of a health professional before eating any plant matter. Information provided is not designed to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any illness, or injury. Always consult a health care professional or medical doctor when suffering from any health ailment, disease, illness, or injury, or before attempting any traditional or folk remedies. As with any natural product, they can be toxic if misused.

The pre-registration form to sign up for a free tree will be posted on Saturday, May 7th on the event page. Please check back then to sign up.

We are looking for volunteers to help us give out the trees! Sign up for a shift on the event page and attend our virtual training on Wednesday, April 27th.

Right tree, Right place

How do I pick the right tree for my yard?

It is essential that you to carefully select the tree(s) species that make sense for your unique space and needs. Before placing your tree order, go outside and take a walk in your yard. Consider any overhead power lines, low areas where rainwater collects, nearby pedestrian right of ways, etc that might impact your decision. Review the available species listed below and plan for the expected height and spread, lifespan, and sunlight and soil requirements. Many of these species will live for a few decades and up to a couple of centuries, so choose wisely. Check out this Arbor Day guide for more assistance.

This spring, we have several native species available: Allegheny serviceberry, American hazelnut, sweetbay magnolia, pawpaw loblolly pine, river birch, white oak, & Kentucky coffeetree.

Trees are generally listed below from smaller to larger.

For planting tips & tricks, please check out our How-To-Plant blog.


Sweetbay magnolia – Magnolia virginiana


Height: 15-30 feet | Spread: 15-25 feet | Light: partial shade-full sun | Moisture: moist-wet

Sweetbay magnolia makes an excellent tree for planting next to buildings, in narrow alleys or corridors, or in other urban areas with limited space for horizontal crown expansion. It usually maintains a good, straight central leader, although occasionally the trunk branches low to the ground forming a round multi-stemmed, spreading tree. This tree has extremely high aesthetic and wildlife values. In May, its large, white showy blossoms produce a sweet aroma. Flowers are followed by dark red fruits exposing bright red seeds that are popular with songbirds. Sweetbays flourish in moist, acid soil such as the swamps in the eastern U.S. and along stream banks, but can thrive in a variety of locations.

American hazelnut – Corylus americana


Height: 8-15 feet | Spread: 10-12 feet | Light: partial-full shade | Moisture: rich, well-drained

Commonly called American filbert, hazelnut is a rounded, multi-stemmed shrub or small tree. It tends to ‘sucker’ (send up shoots from the roots) and may need to be thinned out over time.  Hazelnut is monoecious, meaning that it produces separate male and female flowers on the same plant, but it does not self-fertilize. Cross pollination is achieved by wind, and it is therefore desirable to have two trees if you are interested in growing hazelnuts. The tree will begin producing edible nuts 2-3 years after planting. Nuts may be roasted and eaten or ground into flour but are also commonly left for the squirrels and birds. Hazelnuts are an understory species and prefer at least partial shade.


Allegheny serviceberry – Amelanchier laevis


Height: 15-30 feet | Spread: 10-20 feet | Light: full sun-full shade | Moisture: moist-slightly dry

Allegheny serviceberry, also called Juneberry, Shadbush, and Saskatoon, is a small, often multi-trunked understory tree or tall shrub. It features showy white flowers in clusters in early spring before the leaves emerge. These blooms give way to delicious purple-red edible berries in June that resemble blueberries in size, color and taste. Berries can be eaten raw or used in jams and pies! If you don’t eat them, the birds certainly will. Serviceberries finish off the year with attractive yellow-orange leaf color. They prefer moist, acidic, well-drained loams and will tolerate a range of soil types but not drought. Serviceberries are medium to fast-growing but fairly short-lived tree. Note: serviceberries are susceptible to cedar apple rust (passed along by both cedar and apple trees), which does not generally harm the tree but renders the berries inedible.



Pawpaw – Asimina triloba


Height: 15-30 feet | Spread: 15-25 feet | Light: full sun-part shade | Moisture: medium-wet

Known as the ‘forgotten fruit,” pawpaw it is the largest edible native fruit found in the US, and the only temperate member of a tropical family. Harvest pawpaws in early fall when yellowish-green fruit is just-soft and falling to the ground. Fruits are reminiscent of a mango, with a creamy inside that can be eaten raw or cooked. Purple, six-petaled flowers appear before leaf emergence. This is a good understory tree often found on the forest floor. No serious disease or insect problems. Fruit can create a mess on sidewalks and patios, but this can be minimized by planting only one tree; pawpaws seldom set much fruit without cross pollination.

Riverbirch – Betula nigra


Height: 40-70 feet | Spread: 40-60 feet | Light: full sun-part shade | Moisture: well-drained

River birch grows naturally along moist riverbanks but it is a versatile tree and can be planted almost anywhere in the U.S. It has colorful, exfoliating bark, which is particularly noticeable in the winter. The species is valued for its relatively rapid growth, tolerance of wetness and some drought, spreading limbs and relative resistance to birch borer. It prefers partial shade. River birch is a medium to tall tree, typically living 50 -75 years.

Loblolly pine – Pinus taeda


Height: 40-70 feet | Spread: 20-40 feet | Light: full sun | Moisture: medium-wet

Loblolly pine is a fast-growing, fragrant conifer (cone-bearing tree) that grows well in a variety of conditions. ‘Loblolly’ meaning ‘mud puddle,’ refers to its preferred growing conditions in moist, sandy soils. This tree is particularly noted for its straight trunk that loses lower branches as it matures. Since it is an evergreen (retains its needles all year long), it serves as a good screen and provides important winter cover and protected nesting sites for wildlife. Loblolly pines are the larval host to the Elfin butterfly.

White oak – Quercus alba


Height: 40-90 feet | Spread: 50-70 feet | Light: full sun | Moisture: medium-wet

The white oak is a large, handsome tree named for its whitish bark and grey twigs. It is slow-growing and long-lived with glossy, bright green leaves.  White oaks are the state tree of Maryland as well as Connecticut and Illinois. The largest known white oak specimen had a circumference of 32 feet and grew in the Wye Oak State Park, Talbot County, Maryland. 

In general, oaks are a keystone species, meaning that entire ecosystems depend on them for survival. They can live for centuries, providing food and habitat for hundreds of species of wildlife. If you have the space, choose this tree! Leave a legacy of clean air and water.

Kentucky coffeetree – AGymnocladus dioicus


Height: 60-80 feet | Spread: 40-55 feet | Light: full sun-part shade | Moisture: rich, well-drained

Kentucky coffeetrees are prized for their resiliency. They are an ideal urban species due to their adaptability, pollution tolerance and drought resistance. For these reasons, they are frequently planted as street trees. Long, large clusters of greenish-white flowers bloom in the late spring as the leaves mature and the flowers of the female tree have a delicate rose like fragrance. The roasted seeds were once used as a coffee substitute; raw seeds, however, are poisonous.