BOSCAWEN — The New Hampshire State Forest Nursery continues to accept orders for bare-root tree and shrub seedlings for delivery in spring 2014.
Now in its 104th year, the nursery distributes an average of over 300,000 seedlings annually, mostly to New Hampshire landowners and residents. Originally established in 1910 to provide seedlings for reforestation, the program has expanded to include seedling sales for Christmas tree planting stock and conservation uses such as windbreaks, gravel bank reclamation, wetland plantings, native plant species and wildlife and songbird habitat. The State Forest Nursery has a reputation of producing a product of the highest quality for a reasonable price.
More than forty species of tree and shrub seedlings are available this year including 13 conifers (pine, spruce, fir), 3 hardwood trees (maple, walnut) and 25 species of deciduous shrubs. Five packages of mixed seedlings are also available, including the winter survival package which contains plants that produce fruit that will remain on the plant into the winter months, providing a valuable food source for wildlife above deep snow cover. The snow pack in a normal New Hampshire winter makes such food sources invaluable to the survival of many the State's wildlife and songbird populations when deep snow prevents the animals from foraging on the forest floor.
All of the seedlings sold at the nursery are grown from seed in the nursery seedbeds. "We collect as much of our seed as possible from local sources to ensure our seedlings are well adapted to New Hampshire climate and soils" said nursery forester Howie Lewis. "People interested in purchasing seedlings from the nursery should order them soon. We often sell out quickly of our more popular species, especially Christmas tree planting stock like Balsam and Fraser fir. We have an excellent inventory of both Balsam and Fraser this year, but they often do sell out before spring."
Seedlings were traditionally sold in quantities of 100 or more. Today, they are sold in as little as 10 per package to accommodate landowners with less planting space. Prices range from as much as $1.50 each in a package of 10 to as little as about thirty cents each for larger quantities. To request a catalog contact the Division of Forests and Lands at 271-2214. For more information visit the nursery on the web at, www.nhnursery.com or stop by the nursery facilities located on Route 3 in Boscawen. The nursery is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.