The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reforestation program will begin its annual tree seedling sales in early October.
Landowners can find ordering instructions at the Wisconsin DNR website, dnr.wi.gov keyword "tree planting," or by contacting the Griffith Nursery office at 715-424-3700. Landowners can get information on seedling availability, species information and tips on how to prepare a site for tree planting.
"Every year, Wisconsin landowners plant millions of tree seedlings to enhance and restore forests," said Joe Vande Hey, reforestation program supervisor for the Division of Forestry. "The reforestation program offers affordable, high-quality seedlings to meet that need."
When landowners think about what species of trees to plant, the local DNR office is a great source of advice. DNR foresters throughout the state are available to visit landowner properties, answer questions and help landowners maximize benefits from their tree planting activities. Contact information for all DNR foresters can be found on the DNR website, 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. "They can also prepare an online planting plan by visiting the DNR website."
Although the tree seedlings will not be available for planting until spring, Vande Hey said it is important to order now because many species sell out quickly. Landowners can purchase seedlings from the DNR state nurseries for reforestation, wildlife habitat and windbreak and erosion control purposes. Customers who would like to select specific seedlings or shrubs must order a minimum quantity of 1,000 tree seedlings or 500 wildlife shrubs or build their own packet of 300 seedlings, usually good for landowners new to planting or those with small acreages.
Hardwood tree species available from the state nurseries include red oak, bur oak, black cherry, silver maple, sugar maple, river birch, shagbark hickory, butternut and black walnut. 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 highbush cranberry, hawthorn, American plum, red osier and silky dogwood. A current inventory of which species are still available is maintained on the DNR website.
"The seedlings grown at the state nurseries are high-quality native species grown from seed adapted to growing in Wisconsin," Vande Hey said. "Planting these Wisconsin-grown trees and shrubs is a great way to improve wildlife habitat, increase the value of the land, reduce soil erosion, improve overall aesthetics and possibly generate income for the landowner."
Seedlings and shrubs are distributed in April and early May. Landowners who order from the DNR can pick up their seedlings at the state nurseries located in Boscobel, Hayward, Wisconsin Rapids, or in many counties, at a central location designated by the local DNR forester.
Additional information is available from reforestation program staff at the Griffith State Nursery in Wisconsin Rapids, 715-424-3700 or Wilson State Nursery in Boscobel, 608-375-4123.