Landowners Can Take Advantage of Low-Cost Native Plants; Available to Schools for Free
More than 45 species of trees and shrubs from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) Saratoga Tree Nursery are now available to public and private landowners and schools, DEC Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today.
"The seedlings from our Saratoga Tree Nursery help landowners create habitat and improve air and water quality in their backyard and schoolyard" Acting Commissioner Seggos said. "In addition, many types of trees and shrubs provide important food sources for bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects which have declined over recent years. I encourage all New Yorkers to take advantage of this great resource, and to work with our foresters and experts at the nursery to maximize the conservation benefits of your plantings."
Low Cost Options for Public and Private Landowners
The program provides low-cost, native planting materials from New York sources to encourage landowners to enhance the state's environment for future generations. The Saratoga Tree Nursery also offers a few non-native species which can enhance wildlife plantings and assist with stream bank stabilization. For instance, toringo crabapple provides a winter food source for wild turkey, grouse and deer while streamco willow is used in many stabilization projects.
Species attractive to pollinators and offered by the nursery include maples, sycamore, buckeye, willows, bristly locust, roses, viburnum (highbush cranberry, arrowwood, nannyberry), dogwood, crabapple, sand cherry, buttonbush, wild grape, and, black cherry.
The Saratoga Tree Nursery sells primarily bare-root stock for direct plantings, but a few species are available as containerized stock. Landowners can receive planting advice from their nearest DEC forestry office or private forestry consultant. The 2016 Tree and Shrub brochure (PDF) (170 KB) can be found on the DEC's website or by calling the Saratoga Tree Nursery at (518) 581-1439. Some species sell out quickly.
To order seedlings by phone, contact the nursery on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at (518) 587-1120. Mail orders are also accepted and can be sent to the NYSDEC Saratoga Tree Nursery, 2369 Route 50, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. Orders may be placed through mid-May. Seedlings are shipped from mid-April to mid-May.
Free Resources for Schools
Schools across New York 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.
Applications to participate are available at the DEC's School Seedling Program website, or by contacting the Saratoga Tree Nursery at (518) 581-1439. Interested schools can also contact the nearest DEC regional forestry office to request a "School Seedlings" brochure, which contains all the information necessary to place an order. Applications must be received at the nursery by March 31, 2016.
Since the opening of the Saratoga Tree Nursery in 1911, more than 1.6 billion seedlings have been produced to enhance and protect the New York's environment. For more information on the history and benefits of this program, visit the Saratoga Tree Nursery Background webpage.