Critical Area Reforestation Program


"Free Trees in the Critical Area"

The Calvert County Critical Area Program, implemented in December 1988, requires the County to maintain 100% of existing forest cover within the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area. When maintenance or replacement of forest cover onsite is not possible, a fee is collected to cover the cost of replacement on another tract within the Critical Area. These fees-in-lieu of replanting are held in the Critical Area Reforestation Fund and subsequently used to plant appropriate sites as approved by the Critical Area Reforestation Evaluation (CARE) Committee.

Free trees are available for Critical Area property owners who have an area on their property they would like to replant with trees to help the County maintain 100% of existing forest cover within the Critical Area. The Critical Area Reforestation Program cannot be used to meet the mitigation requirements for any project, permit, or violation.

Only species listed on the Calvert County Native Plant List for the Critical Area Reforestation Program can be provided. Please note that plant species availability varies from year to year. You will be notified if a species is not available, and you will have the option to choose a substitute plant as specified by the Contractor or reapply the next year for those species unavailable this year.

Application & Checklist

An application package must be filed with the Department of Planning & Zoning to be considered by the CARE Committee for free trees and planting sites. The CARE Committee reviews all applications for reforestation or tree planting using the Critical Area Reforestation Fund.

Application Package Checklist (PDF)

Critical Area Reforestation Application (PDF)

CA Reforestation Property Information and Plant List (Excel)


CARE meetings are held the first Wednesday of June and December, starting at 8:30 a.m.

  1. Robin Munnikhuysen

    Planner III / Environmental
    Phone: 410-535-1600, ext. 2502

Critical Area Reforestation Evaluation Committee Members

The term of each member shall be three years.

The BOCC shall appoint representatives from the following entities:

Agriculture Commission
American Chestnut Land Trust
Department of Planning & Zoning
Calvert Soil Conservation District
Calvert County Forestry Board
Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forest Service