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State Forest Nursery

Iowa’s State Forest Nursery provides quality native plant materials, at an affordable cost, to landowners for timber production, wildlife habitat, erosion control and beautification. By providing a reliable source of native stock in large quantities, the State Forest Nursery makes it possible for more than a million trees and shrubs to be planted each year. 

Nursery production is about 1 to 2 million plants per year. Because some species grow for three years before they are lifted for sale, 3-5 million seedlings are growing at any given time.

The nursery is located on 98 acres just south of Ames and was established during the Civilian Conservation Corps days of the 1930s. Thanks to our customers, 2016 marks 80 years producing seedlings.

The State Forest Nursery is bound by Iowa Code to be self-sustaining. Receipts from sale of plant materials are used to cover cost of operations.

Buying Trees

While the majority the seedlings are sold to farmers and forestry consultants in bulk orders, options are available for acreage owners and even residential homeowners.

Orders are taken between Aug 1 and May 31, while supplies last. Fall shipments begin the last week of October and spring shipments start April 1. Depending on the species, sizes of seedlings range from 4 to 30 inches.

Descriptions and pictures of nursery stock are available in the Seedling Catalog

How to Place an Order

Ordering off-line:
Download the current Seedling Catalog and Seedling Order Form or request paper copies by calling the State Forest Nursery. 

Mail or Fax:  
Complete the order form and Mail it to:  
Iowa State Forest Nursery
2404 S Duff Ave.
Ames, Iowa  50010
or Fax your order form to:  515-233-1131

Please do not send payment with your order. 
An invoice will be emailed or mailed to you.

Use your completed order form to place an order by phone. Speak to a nursery representative between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday thru Friday at 1-800-865-2477.

Ordering Online:
The new user friendly order system is easy to navigate and offers online payment.  All you need is an email address and to choose a password to create an account.  After placing your order, invoice(s) and updates on the order status will be emailed to you.  The current inventory for each species and size is listed.  

Iowa's Online State Forest Nursery

State Forest Nursery

Contact us:
1-800-865-2477 or 515-233-1161

Seedling Catalog

State Forest Nursery
Order Online

Arial view of the nursery
Insure Successful Tree Planting:

To insure a successful tree planting, check out the planting layouts, brochures and other information below:

Planting Layouts:

Seed Collection
Native trees are key to healthy woodlands. To improve quality, the nursery continues to identify locations for seed collection from native Iowa forests and wildlife areas, and seed is purchased from Iowa collectors each year. For more information contact the State Forest Nursery.