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It’s time to order tree seedlings

Fall is a great time to plant trees and the DNR State Forest Nursery is gearing up for fall orders. 

Bare-root seedlings can be purchased for 50 to 90 cents per seedling plus tax, shipping and handling, for large-scale plantings, depending upon species and size.  For smaller areas, like acreages and backyards, create-a-packets consisting of up to four species totaling 200 seedlings may be purchased for $190. Smaller songbird packets can be purchased for $45 each.

The State Forest Nursery produces 1 to 2 million plants per year, providing quality native plants for wildlife habitat, timber production, erosion control and beautification.

Landowners are reminded to order early to make sure to get their first choices of seedlings, as some of the most popular species sell out.

“Some of our previous buyers may notice that we have raised our prices this year,” says Paul Tauke, DNR Forestry Bureau Chief.

The State Forest Nursery is required by Iowa Code to be self-sustaining and the price increase was implemented to offset higher expenses associated with production.

“Our customers have been willing to see a slight price increase rather than face the possibility of not having the nursery stock available at all because of the high quality and value of our products,” said Tauke, adding that it is the first price increase at the nursery in more than a decade.

District foresters can assist in determining what species are best suited for specific soils and goals, and landowners can find their district forester’s contact information at

Seedlings are usually shipped beginning the last week of October for fall planting, and April-May for spring planting.

To view the current seedling catalog, or order trees, go to or call the nursery at 1-800-865-2477.