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Order native tree seedlings for spring

The Missouri Department of Conservation grows three-million tree seedlings each year to sell to residents for as little as 22 cents each.

The MDC George O. White State Nursery offers one-year-old, bare-root seedlings with sizes varying by species. Tree and shrub seedling varieties include pine, pecan, oak, dogwood, tulip poplar, cottonwood, sweet gum, cypress, birch, hickory, willow, persimmon, pawpaw, deciduous holly, redbud, wild plum, ninebark, witch hazel, serviceberry, mulberry, elderberry and others. The online Seedling Order Form Catalogue displays a full listing and order form.

Native trees, shrubs, and woody vines can help improve wildlife habitat, soil and water conservation while also improving the appearance and value of property. Native plants can also be used for reforestation, windbreaks, erosion control, wildlife food and cover.

The nursery was started in the 1930s by the United States Forest Service (USFS) to grow shortleaf pine for the state’s forest restoration work. A young USFS forester named George O. White found the current location in 1934. Over the next several years, the nursery was constructed and operated with the help of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Work Projects Administration and other local labor. The nursery has grown from its original 40 acres to 750 acres with 50 acres in used for the tree nursery. More than 60 species of trees and shrubs are grown and distributed. Since 1938, the nursery has distributed more than 520 million seedlings.

Seedlings are available in quantities of 10, 25, or 100 per species. Prices range from 22 cents to 90 cents per seedling depending on the variety and quantity. Orders can be placed until April 15, 2019 and will be shipped or can be picked up at the State Nursery near Licking, MO from February through May 2019. Customers with a Heritage Card receive a 15-percent discount, or up to $20 off.

For more information and to download the Seedling Order Form catalogue, visit MDC. or call 573-674-3229.

Photo: Seedling Planting, USFS Region 5

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