You can place an order for tree and shrub seedlings in sales taking place now by counties and by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC). In addition, tree seedlings are available to schools for free.
When you think of pollinators, you might think of planting flowers, but trees and shrubs are important, too, according to the NYS DEC. Trees and shrubs provide important food sources for bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects, which have declined over recent years.
You might not realize that caterpillars– which become butterflies– feed on tree leaves. Oaks support nearly 400 species of caterpillars in New York State.
Most of the seedlings from the NYS DEC’s Saratoga Tree Nursery are native, which are preferred by native caterpillars.
See the information about the various sales below.
Click on the county to see details of their sale.
New York State DEC
The Spring Seedling Sale of the NYS DEC provides low-cost, native tree and shrub seedlings from New York seed sources to encourage landowners to enhance the state’s environment for future generations.
Mixed species packets are also available. Enhancing habitat in your backyard is made easy with packets of trees and shrubs for your specific planting goals, including enhancement of ruffed grouse habitat and riparian and streamside habitat. In addition, packets include flowering species that attract pollinators.
Some species sell out quickly.
Since the opening of the Saratoga Tree Nursery in 1911, more than 1.6 billion seedlings have been produced to enhance and protect New York’s environment. For more information on the history and benefits of this program, visit the Saratoga Tree Nursery web page.
Free trees for schools
Schools across New York State are eligible to receive free seedlings for spring planting through the DEC School Seedling Program, which provides 50 tree seedlings or a mixed packet of 30 wildlife shrubs to any public or private school that would like to participate. The seedlings can be planted on school grounds or other community spaces and offer teachers a great resource to enhance environmental lessons.