The Game Commission's Howard Nursery produces bare-root seedlings for wildlife food and cover on State Game Lands. The nursery has been producing and distributing 2 to 8 million seedlings annually for wildlife food and cover since 1954.
All Pennsylvania landowners may purchase seedlings for wildlife food and cover, watershed protection, soil erosion control, and for reclamation of disturbed areas, such as surface mine site and utility right-of-ways.
The goal of the Howard Nursery is to provide the finest tree seedlings available of those species that best provide for the various needs of wildlife, including food and shelter. All of our stock is inspected annually by the state Department of Agriculture and certified to be disease-free.
Some of the new native shrubs are available in limited quantities and are expected to sell out quickly. The selection of native trees and shrubs is being expanded annually. With the exception of black locust, all of our hardwoods are grown from seed collected and processed by PGC personnel from Pennsylvania sources.
In addition to making arrangements for landowners to pick up their seedling orders, the nursery does ship via United Parcel Service (UPS). Shipping and handling charges do apply. This is very efficient and most orders are received next day. Orders are only shipped Monday thru Wednesday to assure delivery for weekend planting. Generally seedlings ship in the month of April.
Please keep in ming that due to conditions beyond our control, such as ice and snow, wet weather, and frozen ground, we may not be able to ship trees as early as we would like. We will do everything we can do at the nursery to ensure timely shipping and arrival of trees.
Size of units
Seedlings are packaged in units of approximately 25. During counting andgrading, some smaller seedlings are not counted; the net result is that many units contain more than 25 seedlings. Seedlings are bundled root to root and wrapped in shipping paper with tops sticking out both ends. A wrapper can contain up to 500 seedlings. Depending on the age of the seedlings and the species, bundles will be 30 to 36 inches long, approximately 20 inches in diameter and weigh between 10 and 15 pounds.
How many to plant
One thousand evergreen seedlings, planted at the recommended tree spacing of 6 feet by 6 feet, will occupy 1 1/2 acres of ground. Hardwood seedlings should be spaced a minimum of 10 feet by 10 feet with the exception of black locust and shrubs, which can be planted at 8 feet by 8 feet. One hundred hardwoods will occupy 1/4 acre and 1,000 will occupy 2 acres (black locust and shrubs occupy less space).
Transportation of seedlings
To prevent unnecessary damage to tree seedlings by heat buildup and wind exposure seedlings should NOT be transported in open trucks or trailers. Seedlings may be transported in pickup trucks equipped with hard, ventilated caps or enclosed trailers with ventilation or air conditioning. Acceptable car transportation is inside your vehicle, not in the trunk. Air conditioning should be operated during seedling transport. In no case should seedling packages be stacked more than three high in any vehicle. Every effort should be made to insure that packaged seedlings are not exposed to direct sunlight or wind during transport.
Care of seedlings
After transport, open bundles and ensure roots are moist. Roots and packing material should be cool and damp to touch but need not be soaking wet. Add water to roots (not tops) if necessary. Seedlings should be planted as soon as possible. May be stored in a basement or other cool, enclosed area at 35-50° for up to one week.
When delivered UPS
The package should be opened immediately and inspected; plant roots should be moistened with water. Shipping container can be used to carry seedlings to planting site. Please see the packing list on the outside of the shipping container for more detailed planting directions.
Detailed planting directions will be included with your packaged seedlings.
Bundles are not eligible for discount pricing nor do they count toward the required amount needed for any discounts. In the event that an item is unavailale at the time of shipping, an appropariate substitution will be made.
2014 Seedling Order Form
Wildlife Homes Order Form
Tree Seedlings Index