Order seedlings now for spring 2018 planting

MADISON — High-quality, native seedlings grown from local seed sources and seedlings that are ready for planting this spring are still available for landowners through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reforestation program.

“Every year, Wisconsin landowners plant millions of tree seedlings to enhance and restore forests,” according to Joe Vande Hey, manager of the Wilson State Nursery in Boscobel. “When a landowner is thinking about what species of trees to plant, the first place to turn for advice is the local DNR office. Each county has a DNR forester available to visit landowner properties, answer questions, and help the landowner get the maximum benefits from their tree planting activities.”

Visit dnr.wi.gov, keyword “forestry assistance locator” to find the local DNR forester.

High-quality native seedlings available for spring planting. - Photo credit: DNR
High-quality native seedlings available for spring planting.Photo credit: DNR

The seedling application form [PDF] includes information about tree and shrub species that are available and directions on how to order. Landowners can utilize these seedlings for reforestation, wildlife habitat, and windbreaks and erosion control purposes. Customers who would like to select specific seedlings or shrubs must order a minimum quantity of 1,000 tree seedlings, 500 wildlife shrubs or build their own packet of a mix of 300 seedlings, usually good for landowners new to planting or those with small acreages.

Initial and steady demand depleted the state’s nursery inventory however, an inventory of suitable species still exists. Hardwood tree species available include black cherry, swamp white oak and black walnut. Conifer tree species available include white spruce and jack pine. Wildlife shrubs available include chokecherry and American plum.

Species information and tips on how to prepare a site can also be found at dnr.wi.gov, keyword “tree planting.”

“Landowners contemplating tree planting projects should contact their local DNR forester, private consulting forester, or nursery staff for advice on species selection, site preparation, planting methods, cost-sharing programs, tree planter rentals and other considerations in establishing a successful forest tree planting,” Vande Hey said.

Seedlings and shrubs are distributed in April and early May. Landowners can pick up their seedlings at the state nurseries located in Boscobel, Hayward or Wisconsin Rapids, or in many counties, at a central location designated by the local DNR forester.

Information on tree and shrub inventory is updated regularly and a “Frequently Asked Questions” page addresses common questions about tree planting.