The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), through a grant with the U.S. Forest Service, has been awarding communities in counties that have confirmed emerald ash borer (EAB) up to 200 free seedlings from the DNR’s State Forest Nursery. Seedlings have been awarded since spring of 2019, so if a community has not received its free seedlings, there is still time to apply.
This grant will provide the free native hardwood and evergreen seedlings for up to 511 communities across the state. If awarded the seedlings, they can be shipped or picked up from the DNR State Forest Nursery in Ames.
The seedlings can be planted on public property or distributed to residents throughout the community for planting on private property. Cities or public organizations can choose to do both public and private property plantings.
This is another opportunity for cities with major tree damage or loss from the derecho to help repopulate the trees in the devastated communities, as long as the county is a confirmed EAB county.
“We know that several cities and residents within those cities sustained major property damage during the derecho and a majority of that included the loss of thousands of trees across our state,” said Aron Flickinger, forestry program specialist with the Iowa DNR. “Although this grant was in the works long before the derecho hit, it will help many communities begin to rebuild their tree population for free following the devastating loss.”
Any city or public organization interested in applying for the free seedlings, should complete the grant application online at https://www.iowadnr.gov/Portals/idnr/uploads/forms/5420991.pdf. Applications from communities that have already been awarded free seedlings cannot be approved.
Iowa has confirmed emerald ash borer in 73 of its 99 counties. To learn more about EAB and to see the latest map with confirmed counties, visit https://www.iowadnr.gov/conservation/forestry/forest-health/emerald-ash-borer.