MDC invites public in St. Louis region to collect seed this summer for native tree propagation

News from the region
Saint Louis
Published Date

St. LOUIS, Mo. – You can help propagate native trees in Missouri by collecting seed and get paid for your effort.  The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) George O. White State Nursery in Licking is purchasing seed from the public for a variety of tree and shrub species in the St. Louis region.  The nursery conducts local seed collections each year and uses the seed to grow bare root native tree and shrub seedlings.

The collection effort will continue from June through November, depending on species, or until seed demands are met for a given species.  The nursery reserves the right to stop buying seed once needs for the next planting season are filled.   Nursery staff is anticipating a decent crop of seed on many species this year, so prospective seed collectors should act early. 

Seed collectors can call the nursery at 573-674-3229 to confirm the seeds they are collecting are still needed.  Collectors should ensure the seeds are mature and of good quality and free of leaves, twigs, and other trash. 

In the St. Louis region, collected seeds can be brought to MDC’s St. Louis Regional Office on the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area in St. Charles, 2360 Highway D, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.: or Powder Valley Nature Center in Kirkwood, 11715 Cragwold Road, Tuesday – Saturday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Seeds being collected are listed on the next page, along with prices paid per pound and approximate buying dates.

Collectors should note that a special use permit will be required to collect seeds on conservation areas. More information can be found online at  Seeds should not be collected until the date listed to ensure the seed is mature.  Once collected, store the seed in a refrigerator until you can get it to a collection site. 

For questions regarding tree species or how to check seed quality, contact the George O. White State Nursery at 573-674-3229. Questions may also be directed to Nursery Manager Mike Fiaoni at

SPECIES                                                                PRICE                                                    DATE BUYING WILL BEGIN 

AROMATIC/FRAGRANT SUMAC                       $7.00/LB                                        June 5, 2024

SERVICEBERRY                                                 $7.00/LB                                       June 5, 2024

RED MULBERRY                                                $6.00/LB                                     June 12, 2024

BLACK CHERRY*                                               $6.00/LB                                       July 10, 2024

*(fruit must be ripe – black in color)

WILD PLUM*                                                       $1.95/LB                                       July 10, 2024

*(Plum must be ripe – yellow, red, or orange.  No partially green fruit will be accepted.)

ELDERBERRY*                                                  $4.25/LB                                        July 31, 2024

*(fruit must be ripe – purple to black in color, and fruit only no clusters.)

WITCHHAZEL*                                                   $4.50/LB                                   August 14, 2024

*(Seed inside pod must be black in color)

SPICEBUSH                                                      $4.25/LB                                    August 28, 2024

HAZELNUT*                                                       $4.75/LB                                   August 28, 2024

*(Seed must be mature, light brown and easily pulled from the husk. No green or partially

 green husks will be accepted, please be patient and allow the seed to mature on the plant.)

FLOWERING DOGWOOD                                $5.00/LB                              September 11, 2024

GRAY DOGWOOD                                            $5.00/LB                              September 11, 2024

ROUGHLEAF DOGWOOD                               $4.75/LB                              September 11, 2024

MIXED HICKORY                                              $0.75/LB                              September 11, 2024

SHELLBARK HICKORY                                    $0.90/LB                              September 11, 2024

PERSIMMON*                                                  $0.75/LB                               September 11, 2024

*(Persimmon fruit must be ripe – yellow, red, or orange.  No partially green fruit will be 


REDBUD*                                                        $4.00/LB in PODS                 September 11, 2024

*(Pods must be brown and have on average 3 seeds per pod that are light brown and filled, 

not black.  Green seed pods will not be accepted.)

PAW PAW*                                                       $1.50/LB                               September 11, 2024

*(fruit must be ripe (soft), if too firm will not be accepted.)

WHITE OAK                                                    $0.95/LB                                September 25, 2024

CHINKAPIN OAK                                            $2.50/LB                                September 25, 2024

POST OAK                                                      $1.50/LB                                September 25, 2024

BLACK WALNUT                                             $2.75/BUSHEL                     September 25, 2024

BUTTERNUT                                                   $3.00/LB                               September 25, 2024

OHIO BUCKEYE (Without Hulls)                     $0.95/LB                               September 25, 2024

RED BUCKEYE (Without Hulls)                      $0.95/LB                                September 25, 2024

EASTERN WAHOO                                         $ 6.50/LB                              September 25, 2024

BLACK OAK                                                    $0.85/LB                                       October 2, 2024

SHUMARD OAK                                             $ 0.95/LB                                      October 2, 2024

NORTHERN RED OAK                                  $0.95/LB                                       October 2, 2024

BUR OAK                                                        $1.10/LB                                       October 2, 2024

PIN OAK                                                         $1.25/LB                                       October 2, 2024

CHERRYBARK OAK                                      $1.85/LB                                       October 2, 2024

NUTTALL OAK                                               $1.85/LB                                        October 2, 2024

SWAMP WHITE OAK                                     $1.50/LB                                       October 2, 2024

SWAMP CHESTNUT OAK                             $1.50/LB                                       October 2, 2024

OVERCUP OAK                                             $1.50/LB                                        October 2, 2024

WILLOW OAK                                                $1.85/LB                                        October 2, 2024

DECIDUOUS HOLLY                                     $4.50/LB                                      October 23, 2024

HACKBERRY (N. MO Source Only)               $12.75/LB                                   October 30, 2024

KENTUCKY COFFEE TREE*                         $8.00/LB                                 November 27, 2024

*(No Pods – Clean Seed Only)