The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Colonel William F. Fox Memorial Saratoga Tree Nursery today kicked off its annual spring seedling sale, which is open to the public and runs until May 12. Each year, the tree nursery offers for sale dozens of low-cost, New York-grown tree and shrub species to help implement large-scale conservation plantings across the state.
“For more than 100 years, DEC’s tree nursery in Saratoga has grown its stock, creating winter-hardy seedlings that are used for reforestation and other conservation plantings across the state,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “From landowners hoping to create winter windbreaks and shady summer spots, to those who want to create a haven for wildlife, the nursery offers something for everyone’s planting goal.”
There are many environmental, economic, and social reasons to plant trees. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and are a powerful tool in the fight against climate change. Trees also lower heating and cooling costs, provide food and shelter for native wildlife, improve water quality by filtering runoff, prevent erosion, and increase overall health and well-being.
The tree nursery has more than 50 conifer and hardwood species available in bundles of 25 or more, plus several mixed-species packets for those looking for a variety. For more information, including how to order, visit the Spring Seedling Sale webpage on DEC’s website. Some species sell out early; DEC encourages the public to place orders by phone for the most up-to-date availability information.
Applications are now being accepted for the tree nursery’s School Seedling Program. From now until March 31, schools and youth education organizations across New York State may apply to receive up to 50 free tree or shrub seedlings to plant with students.
The program is an excellent tool for educators to use in meeting Next Generation Science Standards. It provides a hands-on opportunity for students to learn about natural systems, and while planting and caring for seedlings, students learn about ecosystems and the valuable role trees play, in addition to building awareness of conservation issues. The goal of the program is to help instill a sense of environmental stewardship and set a foundation that will allow students to make informed decisions about the use of natural resources.
All schools (public, private, nursery, elementary, secondary, vocational, college, and university) and youth education-based organizations are eligible to apply, provided trees are planted within New York State. Visit DEC’s website for more information or to apply online. For assistance or questions, contact the Colonel William F. Fox Memorial Saratoga Tree Nursery at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-581-1439.