Buy native trees and shrubs from MDC State Forest Nursery

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Need trees and shrubs for your landscape? Go native with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). Native trees and shrubs can help improve wildlife habitat and soil and water conservation while also improving the appearance and value of private property.

MDC’s George O. White State Forest Nursery near Licking offers a variety of low-cost native tree and shrub seedlings for reforestation, windbreaks, erosion control, wildlife food and cover, and other purposes. The nursery provides mainly one-year-old, bare-root seedlings with sizes varying by species. Seedlings varieties include: pine, bald cypress, cottonwood, black walnut, hickory, oak, pecan, persimmon, river birch, maple, willow, sycamore, blackberry, beautyberry, buttonbush, deciduous holly, hazelnut, redbud, ninebark, spicebush, elderberry, sumac, wild plum, witch hazel, and others.

Seedlings are available in bundles of 10 or increments of 25 per species. Prices range from 22 – 90 cents per seedling. Sales tax of 6.1 percent will be added to orders unless tax exempt. There is an $8 handling charge for each order. Receive a 15% discount up to $20 off seedling orders with a Heritage Card, Permit Card, or Conservation ID Number.

The nursery grows millions of seedlings each year, but some species are very popular and sell out quickly. Occasionally the seedlings succumb to uncooperative weather or hungry wildlife, despite the nursery staff’s best efforts.

“We had some late season cold weather this year, with nighttime lows in the 20s. Staff stayed up several nights in a row running the irrigation to keep the plants from freezing, but we still lost some. The hardest hit was a popular choice, the flowering dogwood,” said MDC Nursery Supervisor Mike Fiaoni. “I would encourage people not to wait when placing their orders.”

Fiaoni said that even if a species is listed as sold out, customers can still place an order for them. Sometimes orders get cancelled, freeing up inventory. Customers won’t be charged for seedlings unless they are available to ship.

Learn more and place orders through MDC’s “2020-2021 Seedling Order Form.” Find it in the September issue of the Missouri Conservationist, at MDC regional offices and nature centers, online at, or by contacting the State Forest Nursery at 573-674-3229 or Place orders now through April 15, 2021. Orders will be shipped or can be picked up at the nursery near Licking from February through May.