Starting Oct. 5, 2020, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Reforestation Program will be accepting seedling orders from Wisconsin forest landowners for trees and shrubs to be planted in spring of 2021.
Seedlings grown at the state nurseries are used for reforestation and conservation plantings on private, industrial and state/county forest lands. A minimum order consists of a packet of 300 trees or shrubs of the landowner’s choosing in increments of 100 of each species, or 500 shrubs or 1,000 tree seedlings. Seedlings can also be purchased by youth groups and educational organizations for their reforestation and conservation planting projects.
For more than 100 years, the Wisconsin nurseries have provided high-quality seedlings of native species, appropriate for planting throughout Wisconsin.
“The DNR Division of Forestry grows 3-5 million seedlings annually,” said Joseph Vande Hey, DNR reforestation team leader at the Wilson State Nursery in Boscobel.
“Planting trees or shrubs is a great way to improve wildlife habitat, increase land value, reduce soil erosion, produce future wood products and improve the overall aesthetics of your property,” Vande Hey said.
Additionally, tree planting can also be an educational activity. “Planting trees is a great activity that involves all ages of family members,” Vande Hey confirmed. “It provides an educational experience and an opportunity to become more invested in the stewardship of the environment.”
While the state nurseries have strong inventories of many different conifer, hardwood and shrub seedlings, Vande Hey suggests ordering as early as possible. “Some species sell out quickly, especially now that those affected by the previous year’s tornadoes and windstorms are completing their cleanup efforts. These landowners are now looking to replace their lost forests.”
Forest landowners may create an order using the online form found on the DNR website or by printing the order form and mailing it to the Griffith Nursery: 473 Griffith Ave., Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin 54494. Customers may also contact the reforestation staff or their local DNR forester for personal assistance. Printed copies of the order form are also available; call a local forester or nursery for details.
Regardless of how a customer orders, all orders are batched on Oct. 5 and entered into the system at random, ensuring that everyone has the same opportunity to procure the seedlings they need.
Along with the online form, customers can also find the following items on the reforestation section of the DNR website:
In addition to growing seedlings for use in Wisconsin, the reforestation program participates in research efforts, including tree improvement, nursery soils, nursery insect and disease and reforestation monitoring efforts. DNR nurseries also purchases tree seeds collected by state residents.