The early flowering of trees this spring have many of us thinking of planting trees and gardens. If you would like to plant some trees and shrubs to enhance wildlife habitat, protect soil and water, create a windbreak, or reforest an area of your property, you have some excellent sources of tree and shrub seedlings suited to these practices here in Indiana. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry tree nursery offers several species of trees and shrubs for conservation plantings in the state at very reasonable prices. Although many seedlings are sold out shortly after ordering is opened in the fall, there usually are some trees and shrubs available for sale in the spring. You can call the nursery at 812 358-3621 to check on seedling availability and ordering.
If you would like to learn more about the state nurseries and the seedlings they offer, visit this link: http://www.in.gov/dnr/forestry/3606.htm
You may also be able to buy native trees and shrubs for conservation planting at private nurseries or through tree sales programs offered by some county Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
When planting bare-root seedlings, which are generally one or two year old seedlings with no soil on the roots and packed in a moist medium like sphagnum moss, it is important to control competing vegetation where the seedlings are to be planted. This can be accomplished with tillage, properly applied herbicides, mulches, or a combination of these. Keep seedling roots moist and cool until planted and plant the seedlings as early in the spring as is practical to take advantage of soil moisture from spring rains and a long growing season. April is often an ideal month for planting bare-root seedlings.
If you would like to learn more about planting trees and shrubs for conservation purposes, the Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources has several publications designed to assist you with planning and executing your conservation planting: