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There's no time like now to plant a tree

May 12, 2009|By JOHN LEAF / Special to The Herald-Mail

There is an old proverb that goes, "The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now." While this saying has always been true, there might not be a better "now" or "second best time" than now and this fall.

That's because between now and Nov. 30 (while supplies last), you can go online at www.trees.maryland.gov and print a coupon from the State of Maryland that will provide you with a $25 discount toward the purchase of a tree costing $50 or more, from a participating vendor.

You can plant the trees in your yard. What's more, you can print off and use as many of the coupons as you want to. What a deal!

So, what's this all about?

Well, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has a new initiative called "Maryland: Smart, Green & Growing," which is designed to help create a more sustainable future for Maryland. Part of this is a program called Marylanders Plant Trees, which has a goal of planting one million new trees across the state by 2011. A goal of 50,000 trees by 2010 has been set for private citizens.

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Part of this program is a financial incentive in the form of the discount coupon for tree purchases. If everyone who reads this article could plant one or two trees in their yard this spring, we could help that goal become a reality.

While you're on the Web site, you can also register your trees and calculate their benefits. If you don't know how to plant a tree, just follow the instructions found on the Web site.

In my next article, I will cover some of the many benefits trees provide to the environment and to people.

As you will see, the benefits are many, and since the price will be reduced, why not plant a tree or two in your yard this year?

Just go online at www.trees.maryland.gov, print out some coupons or go buy some discounted trees to plant in the yard. The time couldn't be better.

John Leaf is a forest ranger with the Maryland DNR-Forest Service and a certified arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture. He may be contacted at 301-791-4010.

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