MDC purchasing tree, shrub seed now through November in southeast Missouri

News from the region
Published Date

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) George O. White Tree Nursery in Licking is currently purchasing seed from the public for a variety of tree and shrub species within southeast Missouri.

“The nursery conducts seed collections annually, and collected seeds are grown into bare root seedlings,” said MDC Community Forester Jennifer Behnken. “The nursery will stop accepting seed once the quota has been reached for that tree or shrub, so please contact us beforehand if you have questions.”

In southeast Missouri, collected seeds can be brought to MDC’s Southeast Regional Office (Monday -Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) and the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center (Tuesday – Saturday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.)

Seeds currently being accepted are below (prices are by the pound):

  • Elderberry,(fruit must be ripe, purple to black in color, and fruit only; no clusters), $4
  • Wild plum, $1.75

Starting Aug. 28

  • Hazelnut, (seed must be mature, light brown and easily pulled from husk; no green or partially green husks will be accepted), $3.75
  • Spicebush, $4

Starting Sept. 11

  • Gray Dogwood, $4.65
  • Roughleaf Dogwood, $4.65
  • Black Gum, $5.50
  • Mixed Hickory, $.60
  • Shellbark Hickory, (seed must be mature, light brown and easily pulled from the husk), $.75
  • Persimmon, (fruit must be ripe, yellow, red, or orange), $.60
  • Redbud, (pods must be brown with, on average, three seeds per pod that are light brown and filled, not black), $3.75 (seeds in pods)

Starting Sept. 25

  • White Oak, $.75
  • Chinkapin Oak, $2.25
  • Post Oak, $1.25
  • Butternut, $2.50
  • Ohio Buckeye, (without hulls), $.75
  • Red Buckeye, (without hulls), $.75
  • Eastern Wahoo, $5
  • Cherrybark Oak, $2
  • Willow Oak, $2

Starting Oct. 2

  • Shumard Oak, $.85
  • Northern Red Oak, $.75
  • Swamp White Oak, $1.40
  • Overcup Oak, $1.40

Starting Oct. 23

  • Deciduous Holly, $4.25

Due to limited need, please call before collecting any of the following species:

  • Witchhazel, (seed collection will begin Aug. 14; seed inside must be black in color), $4.25
  • Flowering Dogwood, (seed collection will begin Sept. 11), $4.75
  • Paw Paw, (seed collection will begin Sept. 11; fruit must be ripe), $1.35
  • Baldcypress, (seed collection will begin Oct. 23; seed must be collected from trees next to water), $6.25
  • Kentucky Coffee Tree, (seed collection will start Nov. 27; clean seed only, no pods), $7.75

George O. White Tree Nursery reserves the right to stop buying seed once needs are met. The nursery also reserves the right to reject seed that is poor quality, is not mature, or is mixed with refuse such as leaves and twigs.

A special use permit will be required to collect seeds on conservation areas. More information can be found online at

For questions regarding tree species or how to check seed quality, contact MDC’s Southeast Regional Office at (573) 290-5730. Questions may also be directed to George O. White Nursery Manager Mike Fiaoni at