Bozeman to give away 24 trees to diversify species

    The City of Bozeman will be giving away 24 trees on a lottery basis. (Photo: NBC Montana)

    The city of Bozeman is giving away 24 boulevard trees in an effort to diversify the tree species in town.

    The city says this is the second year they do the Lott o’ Trees Program, made possible by a special grant.

    They have five different tree species they'll be giving away on a lottery basis, including Kentucky coffeetrees, yellowwoods and oak trees.

    "We're pushing for a lot of diversity. Currently we're dealing with a big over-reliance on ash trees," said Alex Nordquest, a forester with the Bozeman Forestry Division.

    "Ash make over one-third of our overall public tree population. It's a huge over-reliance, and we're trying to reduce that," he added.

    Nordquest says ash trees are susceptible to an invasive pest called the emerald ash borer, and they are trying to prevent a citywide infestation that has occurred in other cities.

    The five tree species are untested, and the city wants to see if the new tree species will adapt to the Bozeman climate.

    The lottery drawing is on April 1.

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