State Forest Nursery

Last Nursery Special of the Season – Hurry, while supplies last!

The DNR State Forest Nursery is helping Iowans plant more trees this spring by offering an extra 100 seedlings to each Create-a-Packet purchased, while supplies last. Nursery Create-a-Packets include 200 bare-root seedlings chosen by the customer, 50 each of four selected species. Packet orders made through May 13 will receive an additional 100 seedlings of the nursery’s choice.The seedlings are between 8 and 24 inches, depending on the tree or shrub species. Size and species requests do not apply to the additional 100 seedlings added to each packet; however a customer may request “trees” or “shrubs” for their extra seedlings. That is 300 trees for the price of 200! Orders can be made by phone (800-865-2477).

State Forest Nursery: Contact us at 1-800-865-2477 or 515-233-1161.

State Forest Nursery Assessment frequently asked questions

Our purpose at the State Forest Nursery is to provide quality native plant materials to landowners for timber production, wildlife habitat, erosion control and aesthetics at an affordable cost. Thanks to customers like you, 2011 marks 75 years producing seedlings at the Ames Nursery.

Native trees are one of the keys to having a healthy woodland. To improve quality we are continuing to identify additional locations for seed collection from native Iowa forests and wildlife areas. 

Annually, we purchase seed from Iowa collectors. By providing a reliable source of suitable planting stock in large quantities, the State Forest Nursery makes it possible to plant millions of trees and shrubs each year. The State Forest Nursery at Ames was established during the Civilian Conservation Corps days in the late 1930s. 

Nursery production is about 1 to 2 million plants per year. Because some species grow until they are 3 years old, it means that we may have about 3-5 million seedlings growing at any specific time. Iowa Code and Rule state that the State Forest Nursery is self supported, receipts from sale of plant materials are to cover cost of operations.

aerial view of nursery

The State Forest Nursery, located on 98 acres of land on the south edge of Ames, Iowa annually grows, processes and distributes about 1,000,000 to 1,500,000 trees and shrubs that are planted for forestry, wildlife, erosion control and beautification. Order online:

Contact the nursery for paper order form or  download a pdf version.

To place an order you will need to create an account with the State of Iowa.  For instructions on creating your account please read the following information: A&A Instructions