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Put Some Wonder in the Winter By Giving the December Specialty Packet from the State Forest Nursery

  • 12/1/2015 6:56:00 AM
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DES MOINES – Add some special interest to your winter landscape, or maybe the yard of someone on your gift-giving list, with the Winter Wonderland specialty packet from Iowa’s State Forest Nursery.

 “The packet consists of two evergreen species and three varieties of shrubs that add color and beauty all year long, but particularly in during our Midwest winters,” says State Forester Paul Tauke.

In addition to the seedlings, those ordering this month’s packet will receive a copy of Guide to Common Trees & Shrubs of Iowa – a perfect stocking stuffer. This 100-page booklet contains detailed descriptions, information and illustrations of more than 40 Iowa trees and shrubs.

As a special bonus, the first two individuals to order the Winter Wonderland packet will receive a $50 gift card to Scheels All Sports store.

This Winter Wonderland packet, available this month only, may be just be the gift you are looking to give, or get, this holiday season. Cost for the 250 bare-root seedlings is $110, the same price as a regular 200-seedling packet, plus tax, shipping and handling. The Winter Wonderland packet includes 50 each of the following:

White pine
The only common pine in Iowa, the white pine has long narrow cones and soft plumy grass-like needles in bundles of five. Its curved upper branches provide hauntingly beautiful asymmetry. The white pine will grow 50 to 80 feet tall and likes well-drained, sandy soil. 

White spruce
With dense foliage and a pyramid shape, the white spruce can withstand extremes of heat and cold and grows to be 50 to 80 feet tall.

Redosier dogwood
This shrub grows from 4 to 20 feet tall and displays vibrant red stems, attractive white flowers and white berries. It tolerates wet soil well.

Gray dogwood
Its white flowers, white berries and blue-green foliage provide great winter interest. This shrub tolerates wet soil and will grow 10 to 15 feet tall.

This shrub keeps things interesting in the winter with its brown shaggy peeling bark and white to slightly pink flowers. It’s drought tolerant and grows 6 to 10 feet tall.

The seedlings are between 8 and 24 inches, depending on the tree or shrub species. 

To take advantage of this offer, call the State Forest Nursery at 1-800-865-2477 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and mention the “Winter Wonderland packet.”  Landowners purchasing this packet will receive delivery in the spring.

Each month, the State Forest Nursery creates a different specialty packet to offer a unique mix of tree and shrub species for that month only. This month’s specialty packet is only available through Dec. 30, 2015.  Look for an announcement of next month’s specialty packet Jan. 5.

 Anyone can purchase seedlings from the Iowa State Forest Nursery for CRP projects, to increase wildlife habitat, pollinator potential or diversify backyard woodlands.  More than 40 species are available from the nursery. Seedling choices, including photos and descriptions, can be seen in the seedling catalog at

For more information about this monthly special or other tree and shrub seedlings, contact the Iowa DNR State Forest Nursery at 1-800-865-2477.