The Alamosa Field Office provides planting advice, species selection and survival products.


Seedling Tree Program

Seedlings are available to landowners who wish to plant a windbreak or shelterbelt, or for reforestation, erosion control, wildlife, visual screening or noise barriers. The Alamosa Field Office provides technical advice on species selection and project design. Seedling survival products are available from the Alamosa Field Office and on seedling distribution day.

Residents of the San Luis Valley have two options to purchase conservation seedlings. Delivery will be to Salida or La Veta with purchasers needing to pick up the seedlings at these locations.

Chaffee County Extension at (719) 539-6447 or

CSFS Woodland Park Field Office at (719) 687-2921 or Seedlings will be delivered to the La Veta Field Office.

If you want more information about this program, please call our office at (719) 587-0915 or email us.

CSFS Conditions for Seedling Sales

  1. This nursery stock must be used for conservation purposes only.
  2. Bareroot seedlings are available in multiples of 25 per species only.
  3. Containerized seedlings are available in multiples of 30 or 50 per species only, while Extra-large potted seedlings are available as a single plant.
  4. Payment must accompany order. No cancellations or refunds.
  5. There are no guarantees for survival.
  6. If trees ordered are not available, a refund may be issued unless a substitution is requested.

Recommended Trees & Shrubs for San Luis Valley

The most popular shrubs native to Colorado and the valley are: chokecherry, sumac, buffaloberry, wax currant, antelope bitterbrush and four-wing saltbrush.

In addition, sumac and four-wing saltbrush are excellent for drought resistance and cold hardiness. If you have alkaline soils, buffaloberry and four-wing saltbrush are good choices.

Trees native to the valley are: narrowleaf cottonwood, and in higher elevations, aspen, Colorado blue spruce, Douglas-fir, Engelmann spruce, lodgepole pine, ponderosa pine, Rocky Mountain juniper, white fir, bristlecone pine and limber pine.

Due to a shared pest with potatoes – the green peach aphid – the Colorado Department of Agriculture has imposed a quarantine of certain Prunus species. Due to this quarantine, Manchurian Apricot and Plum are not for sale within the San Luis Valley. There is an exception to this quarantine for the following species as they are not a known host for the green peach aphid:

  • Prunus besseyi – western sand cherry
  • Prunus cisterna – purple leaf sand cherry
  • Prunus glandulosa – flowering almond
  • Prunus maackii – amur chokecherry
  • Prunus tomentosa – nanking cherry
  • Prunus triloba – flowering almond
  • Prunus virginiana – chokecherry

If you want to plant a windbreak in the valley, buffaloberry and Rocky Mountain juniper are excellent for drought resistance, cold hardiness and alkali tolerance. The narrowleaf cottonwood and golden willow require more water, but also do well in alkaline soils and are cold hardy.

For more information about these recommended trees & shrubs, please refer to the CSFS Nursery Buyer’s Guide (1.9 MB PDF).

How to Decide What to Order

Determine your Goal

  • Wildlife – Choose species that provide shelter and food
  • Aesthetics – Choose species with good color and size variety
  • Windbreaks and snow fences – Choose a variety of species that provide different layers of vertical cover. See Living Snow Fences: Protection That Just Keeps Growing (5.3 MB PDF)

Determine your Environment

Select Appropriate Species

Seedling Survival Products Available from the Alamosa Field Office

Fertilizer Tablets 20% nitrogen, 10% phosphorous & 5% potassium
(Packaged in bags of 50)
Polymer Soil Additive
(8 oz bag – will do approx. 60 seedlings)
Slurry Polymer (8 oz bag – will do approx. 100 seedlings)$5.75/bag
Tree Guard with stakes (24″ high)$1.00 each
Tree Shade (sunscreen) with wickets75 cents each
Weed Barrier Fabric – 6′ x 300′ roll
Weed Barrier Fabric – 4′ x 4′ square


Windbreaks are trees or shrubs planted in a row with the most common benefit of reducing blowing wind. Additional benefits include noise reduction, wildlife habitat and visual screens.snowfence

Living Snow Fences (LSF) are a type of windbreak planting of shrubs and trees located along roads or around communities that are designed to trap snow as it blows across the road piling it up before it reaches a road. In the San Luis Valley living snow fences are installed on La Veta Pass, north of Villa Grove and along Hwy 160.

These projects were a joint effort by Costilla County Soil Conservation District, Center Conservation District and CO Department of Transportation.