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October 4, 2011

MADISON -- Autumn is a great time of year for landowners to enjoy their property and many will be out preparing for the hunting season. It's also a great time to prepare for tree planting on your property next spring.

The Spring 2012 Tree and Shrub Ordering Form (pdf) is now available from the Department of Natural Resources State Nursery Program. The form includes information about tree and shrub species that are available and directions on how to order online or by mail. Species information and tips on how to prepare a site can also be found online.

"Every year, Wisconsin landowners plant millions of tree seedlings to enhance and restore native forests," according to Jim Storandt, Griffith Nursery manager in Wisconsin Rapids. "As busy as the last part of the year can be, autumn is the ideal time to prepare tree planting sites and to order seedlings."

And when a landowner is thinking about what species of trees to plant, the first place to turn for advice is the local DNR office. Each county has a DNR forester available to visit your land, answer questions, and help the landowner get the maximum benefits from their tree-planting activities.

"Landowners contemplating large tree planting projects should contact their local DNR forester or a private consulting forester for advice on species selection, site preparation, planting methods, cost-sharing programs, tree planter rentals, and other considerations in establishing a successful forest tree planting," Storandt said. Contact information for all DNR foresters can also be found online.

Even though these trees will not be distributed and planted until next spring, Storandt said it is important to order now because many desirable species sell out quickly.

Landowners can purchase seedlings from the DNR state nurseries for reforestation, wildlife habitat, and windbreak and erosion-control purposes. The nurseries offer pre mixed seedling packets of 300 seedlings for small landowners with mixes for windbreaks, wildlife habitat, shoreland, and hardwood and savannah restoration.

Customers who would like to select specific seedlings or shrubs must order a minimum quantity of 1,000 tree seedlings or 500 wildlife shrubs. Hardwood tree species available from the state nurseries include red oak, bur oak, swamp white oak, black cherry, silver maple, sugar maple, aspen, river birch, white birch, yellow birch, and black walnut. Conifer tree species available include white spruce, black spruce, white pine, red pine, jack pine, and white cedar. Wildlife shrubs available include hazelnut, ninebark, American plum, silky dogwood and red-osier dogwood.

"The seedlings grown at the state nurseries are high-quality native species grown from seed harvested in Wisconsin," Storandt said. "Planting these Wisconsin-grown trees and shrubs is a great way to improve wildlife habitat, increase the value of the land, reduce soil erosion, improve overall aesthetics, and possibly generate income for the landowner."

Seedlings and shrubs are distributed in April and early May. Landowners who order from the DNR can pick up their seedlings in Boscobel, Hayward, or Wisconsin Rapids, or in many counties, at a central location designated by the local DNR forester. Although the DNR will not be using Hayward for seedling production beyond the spring of 2013, Hayward will continue as one of the departments distribution facilities.

"Staff at the state nurseries place a high value on customer service," Storandt said. "Information on tree and shrub inventory is updated regularly. The State Nursery Seeding Catalog (pdf) provides information on the various seeding species. A Frequently Asked Questions page along with links to additional tree planting information help landowners to maximize their investment."

FOR MORE INFORMATION: CONTACT: Griffith State Nursery in Wisconsin Rapids (715.424-3700), Hayward State Nursery in Hayward (715.634-2717), Wilson State Nursery in Boscobel (608.375-4123), or James Warren at 608.264-8990.

Last Revised: Tuesday, October 04, 2011

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