MDOT Urban Tree Program Grant Application Details

last revised 11/21/23 at 4:20 pm

MDOT Urban Tree Program Grant Application

MDOT Urban Tree Program Grant Application

The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) is pleased to offer grants to support tree planting efforts in communities that have been impacted by transportation projects through the MDOT Urban Tree Grant Program. These grants are offered in partnership with the Maryland Urban and Community Forest Committee (MUCFC). To learn more about MUCFC visit their website at

Awards of up to $5,000 are available for eligible tree planting projects, with additional funds available for eligible Pocket Forest* plantings. Applications must be submitted by 4:30pm EST on February 15 (for spring planting) and July 15 (for fall planting). Applications must be approved by the county Forestry Board before the application deadline for submissions to be accepted.

Applications are not reviewed until after the deadline date for the relevant planting season. MUCFC/MDOT will contact applicants in the weeks following the application deadline to notify them of funding decisions.

If you have questions or need help with your application, please reach out to Allison Breitenother, or MD DNR Forest Service, 410-260-8510.

Eligibility Criteria and Considerations

  • Applicants must be from an eligible organization*
    • Eligible organizations include non-profit organizations, schools, community/neighborhood associations; community business associations; homeowners associations; business service, youth, and civic groups; institutions of higher education; counties; municipalities; and forest conservancy district boards.
  • Projects must take place in communities where trees have been removed as part of the construction of a transportation facility project*, such as construction of the Purple Line project
  • Priority will be given to applications in communities that are also affected by
    • Environmental justice issues* OR
    • Heat island effect
  • Priority will be given to projects supporting the urban tree canopy*
  • Funding cannot be used for required mitigation planting
  • Projects can take place on private or public lands*
  • Tree species must be native. MUCFC will not fund planting of invasive species.
  • Projects with matching funds and/or in-kind support are preferred.

Application Requirements 

  • Applications are due in the OneStop system by 4:30pm on February 15 (for Spring Planting) and July 15 (for Fall Planting)
    • All applications must be approved by your county Forestry Board by the application deadline.
  • Funding for limited outreach to encourage volunteers to support the project, to cover costs of signage, or promotion of the completed project may be included in application, for up to 5% of the total grant award.
  • Applications must:
    • Include a site plan or project design and a photo of the proposed planting site. If projects include tree pits, or other similar systems, applications must include details of the design or proposed structures.
    • Include a list of proposed plants (including species, size, and quantity) to be used in the project. All plants are required to be native species. A list of MDOT preferred trees and plants can be found at:
    • Description of any permits (if required), the needs, status, and how any review process may impact project completion.
    • Include a described maintenance plan (I.e., watering, weeding, mulching, and long-term maintenance), the expected maintenance costs (eligible for funding), and who will be responsible for the maintenance activities.
      • Tree planting projects require one year of maintenance plan while Pocket Forest projects require a 3-year maintenance plan.

Additional Information

  • Smaller plants cost less, are easily handled and have a higher survival rate than larger ball and burlap plants. Occasionally, larger plants are necessary, however. When possible, purchase plants from the state facilities. Seedlings can be purchased from the state tree nursery at and for public land plantings. Container grown trees can be purchased from Tree-Mendous MD Program at Prices are typically $18-$50 dollars for trees and shrubs.
  • Definitions*
    • Eligible Organizations: non-profit organizations, schools, community/neighborhood associations; community business associations; homeowners associations; business service, youth, and civic groups; institutions of higher education; counties; municipalities; and forest conservancy district boards.
    • Environmental Justice: equal protection from environmental and public health hazards for all people regardless of race, income, culture, and social status (§ 1-701 of the Environment Article).
    • Heat Island Effect: urban areas that experience higher temperatures relative to outlying areas (EPA).
    • Pocket Forest: small, high density, native-shrub and tree planting projects in urban environments that recreate or restore layers of forests, including a canopy layer comprised of taller trees, a mid-height shrub layer, and ground cover. These projects can also include soil augmentation and other restoration techniques to encourage low maintenance in urban spaces. Pocket Forests are designed to integrate forests into the urban environment.
    • Public Land: land paid for and supported by public tax dollars – can include homeowner association, city, town, county, state or federal land, with the approval of the landowner.
    • Transportation Facility Project: for the purposes of this project, it is defined in as any construction, operation or maintenance activities that have occurred as part of the state-owned transportation system (including airport, highway, port, railroad and transit facilities), which resulted in the removal of trees. (Examples include, but are not limited to, highway or rail corridor projects, park & ride lots, bicycle and walking path construction, mass transit projects such as the construction of the Purple Line project).
    • Urban Area: for the purposes of this grant, an urban area is defined as an area that contains at least 2,000 housing units or has a population of at least 5,000 (Census Bureau, March 24,2022 -
    • Urban Tree Canopy: when viewed from above, the leaves and branches of trees that cover the ground. This serves as an overall indicator of urban forest quality and quantity.

  • Open from to

    Submission Window

  • $0.00

    Application Fee

Apply or Register

Ready to apply?


Who issues the Form?

Maryland Department of Transportation

Contact Information

Allison Breitenother


Tel: (410) 865-1097

Work hours: