State forest nursery tree seedlings still available

The New Hampshire State Forest Nursery, which has been in operation for more than 100 years, continues to accept orders for bare-root tree and shrub seedlings for delivery in spring 2014. Because of the popularity of the program and limited availability, some items have sold out.

The Nursery was started in 1910, when much of the landscape was cutover, burned over and abandoned farmland. Today, the nursery distributes over 300,000 seedlings annually, mostly to New Hampshire landowners and residents, with an expanded program that includes seedling sales for Christmas tree planting stock and conservation uses such as windbreaks, gravel bank reclamation, wetland plantings, native plant species and wildlife and songbird habitat. The State Forest Nursery has a reputation of producing a product of the highest quality for a reasonable price.

More than forty species of tree and shrub seedlings are available including 13 species of conifers (pine, spruce, fir), 3 species of hardwood trees (maple, walnut) and 25 species of deciduous shrubs. Five packages of mixed seedlings are also available, including the winter survival package which contains plants that produce fruit that will remain on the plant into the winter months, providing a valuable food source for wildlife above deep snow cover. As snow piles up over the winter months, such food sources become invaluable to the survival of many the State’s wildlife and songbirds.

All of the seedlings sold at the nursery are grown from seed in the nursery seedbeds. “We collect as much of our seed as possible from local sources to ensure our seedlings are well adapted to New Hampshire climate and soils” said nursery forester Howie Lewis. “Because of good inventories of several of our more popular Christmas tree species this year, many are still available including balsam and fraser fir. People interested in purchasing seedlings from the nursery should order them soon. Well over half of the available planting stock has already been sold.” Balsam fir is still the most popular Christmas tree in New Hampshire.

Prices range from as much as $1.50 each in a package of 10 to as little as about thirty cents each. To request a catalog contact the Division of Forests and Lands at 271-2214.

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