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State Forest Nursery

The State Forest Nursery provides affordable, high-quality native plant material for use in timber production, wildlife habitat restoration, erosion control, and other conservation-related endeavors, to landowners in Iowa and other states.  Located on 98 acres just south of Highway 30 in Ames, the nursery was established by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930’s and has operated continuously ever since.  Currently, the nursery sells approximately 1 million seedlings per year, and 3-5 million seedlings are grown on-site at any given time. 

Why Plant Trees?

Trees provide an incredible array of benefits, including: food and habitat for wildlife and pollinators; reduced soil erosion along streambanks and waterways; innumerable products, such as lumber, furniture, fruit, and Christmas trees, just to name a few; reduced heating and cooling costs for homes and other buildings; cleaner water through removal of chemicals such as nitrogen and phosphorous; cooler temperatures, cleaner air, and reduced noise pollution in towns and cities, and; aesthetic and other benefits that have been shown to improve mood, increase focus and learning, and foster general health and well-being for people.

Why Plant Native Trees?

No matter where you live, it’s always best to plant trees grown from locally-adapted seed.  The further a tree is planted from its seed source, the greater its risk of suffering from disease or early mortality, even if the seed source and planting site both fall within the native range of the species.  The habitat provided by native tree species is also far superior to that of non-native species, as wildlife and pollinators are adapted to trees that are native to where they live.  Iowa has the enviable distinction of possessing the soil and climate ideal for producing some of the finest trees in the world, and the State Forest Nursery strives to grow and distribute the best stock possible.  Whatever your tree-planting needs, the State Forest Nursery is here to help you achieve your goals!

Orders are taken August 1st – May 31st.  Fall orders are processed beginning the last week in October and spring orders are typically processed starting April 1st, weather-permitting.  Sizes range from 4-30”, depending on species, and two size categories are available for most species. 
How to Place an Order

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.

To place an order over the phone, please call 1-800-865-2477 between 8 am and 4:30 pm Monday through Friday.

Ordering Online:
Ordering online is easier than ever with the nursery’s new online order system. Simply click on the following link to set up an account, and follow the instructions given. After you place your order, you will receive invoices and updates via email.

Order Seedlings Online

Order Online

Iowa State Forest Nursery
1-800-865-2477 or 515-233-1161

Seedling Catalog

Order Seedlings Online

Native Iowa hardwoods, small trees and shrubs, evergreens and specialty packets.

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.