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It’s time to order native seedlings for spring

Each year, the Missouri Department of Conservation grows 3-million tree seedlings to sell to residents for as little as $0.16 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 Seedling Order Form Catalogue displays a full listing and order form.

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.

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.

Seedlings are available in quantities of 10, 25, or 100 per species. Prices range from 16 to 80 cents per seedling depending on the variety and quantity. Orders can be placed until April 15, 2018 and will be shipped or can be picked up at the State Nursery near Licking, MO (four hours from the Kansas City metro) from February through May 2016. 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

Photo: Seedling Planting, USFS Region 5 

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