The Department of Natural Resources Reforestation Program will began its annual tree seedling and shrub sales starting Oct. 2. The orders will be distributed in April and early May and can be picked up at the state nurseries located in Boscobel, Hayward, or Wisconsin Rapids, or delivered to a central location designated by the local DNR forester.
Tree and shrub seedlings are available to all Wisconsin landowners interested in planting for conservation purposes such as forest products, wildlife habitat and erosion control. Landowners can get information on seedling availability, species information, tips on how to prepare a site for tree planting and ordering instructions at dnr.wi.gov, keyword “tree planting.” There is a minimum order of 1,000 tree seedlings, 500 wildlife shrubs or a mixed packet of 300 seedlings, usually good for landowners new to planting or those with small acreages.
“Every year, Wisconsin private landowners and public land managers plant millions of tree seedlings to create, enhance and restore our forested lands,” said Joe Vande Hey, DNR Reforestation Program supervisor for the Division of Forestry. “The Reforestation Program offers affordable, high-quality seedlings to meet that need.”
The local DNR office is also a great source of information for landowners on how to plan their tree planting, and DNR foresters are available throughout the state to visit landowner properties, answer questions and assist landowners to get the maximum benefit from their tree planting activities. Contact information can be found at dnr.wi.gov, keyword “forestry assistance locator.”
“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. “For those who want to do more research before visiting a forester, there is an online planting plan tool available at dnr.wi.gov, by searching for “tree planting plan.”
Seedlings are not available for planting until spring, but even so, Vande Hey stressed it is important to order now because many species sell out quickly.
“The seedlings grown at the state nurseries are native species from seed adapted to growing in Wisconsin,” Vande Hey said. “Planting these Wisconsin-grown trees and shrubs is a great way for landowners to get to know their own properties better and understand the greater role tree planting has in the local environment.”
Hardwood tree species available from state nurseries include native oak (bur, red, swamp white and white), maples (red, silver and sugar), shagbark hickory, black cherry, butternut, black walnut, river birch, aspen and hackberry. Conifer tree species available include white spruce, black spruce, white pine, tamarack, red pine, jack pine, hemlock and white cedar. Wildlife shrubs available include American plum, redosier and silky dogwood, hazelnut, juneberry and choke cherry. A current inventory of which species are available is maintained at dnr.wi.gov/topic/TreePlanting/order/inventory.asp.