Trees for Bees

Trees for Bees Giveaway

4/28/22 UPDATE: We successfully gave away 1,000 trees to residents, non-profits and Howard Community College for our inaugural Trees for Bees Giveaway! Thank you to all who participated. We plan to offer this again next year, 2023 stay tuned. 


For more information about how you can help pollinators click HERE

About the Trees and Shrubs

The trees will be in 5-gallon containers and approximately 5 to 8 feet tall. They are all native species. All species are native to Maryland, are acclimated to our climate and provide food and shelter for wildlife. Residents are responsible for loading the trees into their vehicles. This is especially important as we continue to practice social distancing.


Red Maple (Acer rubrum): Grows to a height of 40-100′ with a spread of 30-75′. Prefers full sun to partial shade and moist to wet soils. The nectar produced in male flowers are a really good spring sources for bees. It attracts both male and female bees, and common bees attracted include mining bees, small sweat bees, mason bees and cellophane bees.

Red Bud (Cercis canadensis): Eastern redbud is a native, perennial, deciduous tree
which grows 15 to 30 feet tall and spreads 15 to 25 feet. The Henry’s elfin butterfly (Callophyrus henrici) and hummingbirds utilize eastern redbud for nectar. Native bees use the flowers for pollen

Serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis): A woody, deciduous shrub native to the US grows up to approximately 26 ft tall and 15–20 ft wide. Serviceberry is an early blooming plant and plays an important role as a food source for pollinators like bees and butterflies. Birds and wildlife are very attracted to serviceberry’s fruit.

American Plum (Prunus americana): American plum, is a deciduous large shrub or small tree with a broad crown, reaching heights up to 15 feet. American plum is highly important as
wildlife cover and food.

Silky Willow (Salix sericea): A native shrub that is found in riparian areas in the eastern United States. Flowers are pollinated by native bees and honey bees and is the larval host plant for the Acadian Hairstreak (Satyrium acadica).


New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus): A low, upright, deciduous shrub that grows to only 3 ft. tall. The larval host for the Spring Azure, Summer Azure, Mottled Duskywing and used by native bees. Does well in dry to moist conditions and sun to part shade.

Sweet Pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia): A narrow, 6-12 ft. deciduous shrub that does well in moist soil conditions and sun – shade. It is also known to be salt tolerant. Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds use flowers. Many birds and mammals eat the fruit.

Silky Dogwood (Cornus amomum): Silky dogwood is a large shrub, often 6-10 feet in
height. It does well in moist soil and tolerates shade. The flowers have special value to native bees. Spring azures love silky dogwood flowers, and hosts their caterpillars too.

All tree facts listed above are from the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service “Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping: Chesapeake Bay Watershed.”  

Pickup Location


If you cannot pick up your tree on this date, please do not reserve a tree. You may have another person pick up for you. Have them bring a printout of your reservation. 

Pick up location and time: Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, PARKING LOT C 10am – 3pm

Reserving Your Trees

The 2022 giveaway is complete, all trees have been taken. Please check in March 2023!

To learn more details about these tree species, visit Trees improve the environment in terms of climate, stormwater, energy savings and economic value to homeowners. Learn more about tree benefits at

Another great option that encourages residents to plant trees is the Marylanders Plant Trees coupon program. Maryland Department of Natural Resources offers a $25 coupon off of native trees that cost $50 or more at participating nurseries.  Find the coupon here and use the tabs on the left of the page to find Participating Nurseries and Recommended Trees.