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Celebrate Spring by planting trees

May 19, 2015
Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

DES MOINES The Iowa Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) State Forest Nursery is helping Iowans to plant more trees this spring by offering 100 additional seedlings to each specialty packet purchased until Memorial Day weekend, while supplies last.

"With the continuing impacts of emerald ash borer, we want to make it easy for Iowans to mitigate the loss of trees and help diversify and expand Iowa's tree canopy," says Paul Tauke, chief of the DNR's Forestry Bureau.

The first 400 orders of Create-a-Packets through the State Forest Nursery will receive an additional 100 seedlings of the nursery's choice. Each custom packet consists of 200 bare-root seedlings which the customers choose, 50 each of four selected species, and 100 seedlings which the nursery chooses. The seedlings are between 8 and 24 inches, depending on the tree or shrub species. Size and species requests do not apply to the additional 100 seedlings added to each packet.

To take part in this offer, call the State Forest Nursery at 1-800-865-2477 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and mention the "add-a-hundred program." Orders will be filled on a first-come first-served basis until 400 packets have been requested, or 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 22, whichever comes first. This offer only applies to newly placed orders, and cannot be applied to previous orders.

Recommended packet choices include:

Butterfly host packet

Play host to more than 16 species of butterflies by planting these seedling selections.

Choose 4 of the following 5 species:


Wild Plum

Bur Oak


Redosier Dogwood

The Fastest Forest packet

These selections are known as the fastest growing trees at the nursery typically 3 feet or more per year, once established. They are also known for superior storm water interception, tolerance of wet conditions and water uptake, and are suitable for planting along streams, rivers and waterways.

Choose 4 of the 5 following species:

Hybrid Poplar (cuttings)

Silver Maple

River Birch


Cottonwood (cuttings)

Wild Edibles Packet

Not only does wildlife love the fruit and nuts from these native trees and shrubs, but people do, too. Try planting some wild edibles in your backyard woodland.

Choose 4 of the following 6 species:

Wild Plum

Aronia (Black Chokeberry)

Black Walnut

Northern Pecan

Shagbark Hickory


Anyone can purchase Create-a-Packets from the Iowa State Forest Nursery to increase wildlife habitat, pollinator potential or diversify backyard woodlands. Cost of a Create-a-Packet is $110, plus shipping and handling. Seedling choices can be seen in the Seedling Catalog at

For more information about the add-a-hundred program, contact the Iowa DNR State Forest Nursery at 1-800-865-2477.



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