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, buttonbush, 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 34 cents to $1 per seedling. Sales tax of 6.1 percent will be added to orders unless tax exempt. There is an $9 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.

“The weather almost got us again in late winter in a huge way,” said MDC Nursery Supervisor Mike Fiaoni. “We had almost 25% of our seedlings up due to early germination. Then we got two nights down in the mid-20s. The nursery staff did an outstanding job covering most of the seedlings with various materials and saved around 1.5 million trees. The main species that took a hit were hackberries and black cherries.”

Fiaoni added, “We had reports of people last year setting their alarms to wake up at midnight on Aug. 31 to get their order placed. So again, this year get your order in early.”

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 “2021-2022 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, 2022. Orders will be shipped or can be picked up at the nursery near Licking from February through May.