Workers gather white pine seedlings being uprooted by a tractor-driven machine during an event  at the Missouri Department of Conservation's George O. White State Forest Nursery west of Licking. Credit: FILE PHOTO

Need trees and shrubs for your landscape? Go native with tree and shrub seedlings from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). Native trees and shrubs can help improve wildlife habitat and soil and water conservation while also improving the appearance and value of private property.

MDC’s George O. White State Forest Nursery near Licking offers a variety of low-cost native tree and shrub seedlings for sale for reforestation, windbreaks, erosion control, wildlife food and cover and other purposes.

The nursery provides mainly one-year-old, bare-root seedlings with sizes varying by species. Seedlings varieties include: pine, bald cypress, cottonwood, black walnut, hickory, oak, pecan, persimmon, river birch, maple, willow, sycamore, blackberry, buttonbush, hazelnut, redbud, ninebark, spicebush, elderberry, sumac, wild plum, witch hazel and others.

Seedlings are available in bundles of 10 or increments of 25 per species. Prices range from 34 cents to $1 per seedling. Sales tax of 6.1 percent will be added to orders unless tax exempt. There is a $9 handling charge for each order. Receive a 15% discount up to $20 off seedling orders with a Heritage Card, Permit Card or Conservation ID Number.

“The nursery grows millions of seedlings each year, but some species are very popular and sell out quickly,” said Forest Nursery Supervisor Mike Fiaoni. “And some seedlings occasionally succumb to harsh weather or hungry wildlife, despite the nursery staff’s best efforts.”

Fiaoni said that even if a species is listed as “sold out,” customers can still place an order for those seedlings because other orders may get cancelled, freeing up inventory. Customers won’t be charged for seedlings unless they are available to ship.

He noted that, due to shipping costs tripling from past years, the nursery must now charge shipping fees for orders being shipped to Missouri addresses.

“This is the first time in the nursery’s 80-plus-year history that we have had to do this,” he said.

Orders will be processed beginning Sept. 1 through April 15, 2023. Orders will be shipped or can be picked up at the nursery near Licking from February through May.

Learn more and place orders using MDC’s 2022-2023 Seedling Order Form. Find it in the September issue of the Missouri Conservationist, at MDC regional offices and nature centers, or by contacting the State Forest Nursery at 573-674-3229 or StateForestNursery@mdc.mo.gov.

Place orders online at mdc.mo.gov/trees-plants/tree-seedlings beginning at 8 a.m. Sept. 1.

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