The annual seedling tree and shrub sales program offers eligible Colorado landowners a convenient source of high quality, affordable planting stock for conservation plantings.

These plantings include hedgerow and windbreak establishment; noise, dust and visual screening; wildlife habitat improvement; living snow fence development; reforestation and afforestation efforts; erosion control projects; and Christmas tree plantations. Native and introduced varieties of trees and shrubs are available. Tour the CSFS Nursery.

Seedling tree delivery in Durango
Seedling tree delivery in Durango

Program Qualification

  • Use seedlings for conservation practices only

If you do not qualify, desire larger trees, want landscaping plants or are interested in a species not offered, there are numerous commercial nurseries that should be able to meet your needs.

Seedlings are sold and distributed in our area each spring through these local conservation districts:

High Desert Conservation District (Dolores and Montezuma counties)
(970) 529-8368

La Plata Conservation District (Archuleta, La Plata and San Juan counties)
(970) 247-7956

Application for Seedling Trees

The application for seedling trees lists the tree and shrub varieties offered and their prices. Seedlings generally can be ordered from October through the end of March. Since inventories are limited, order early to insure getting the species and/or type of planting stock desired (bare root, regular potted or small potted). Call your local conservation district for deadlines and sales tax requirements. The seedlings are delivered the second or third week in April. You will be notified of when and where to pick up your trees.

Ponderosa pine seedling
Ponderosa pine seedling

Planning & Design Considerations

Landowners are encouraged to develop a planting plan before installing a conservation planting. Consider the purpose of the planting, site characteristics, species and type of planting stock, space availability, site preparation, short and long-term maintenance needs, and survival enhancing products/techniques.

Technical assistance is available from the Colorado State Forest Service or your local office of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Both CSFS and NRCS will prepare planting plans and can provide information about potential funding programs for conservation plantings.

Planning & Design Considerations

Native Species

Species Suitability Guide

Wildlife Values

Survival Enhancing Products

CSFS Nursery Publications

Durango District forester on a tree planter
Durango forester on a tree planter

Equipment Available From CSFS

The Colorado State Forest Service has several tractor-drawn implements available for a fee to landowners for installation of larger conservation plantings.

Planting Machines (2):

These can be used to quickly plant seedlings in rows. One is designed for a 3-point hitch and the other attaches to a tow bar.

For detailed information, click here.

Weed Barrier Fabric Laying Machine:

This implement lays and anchors weed barrier fabric over rows of planted seedlings. It is designed to fit
on a 3-point tractor hitch.

Weed barrier fabric laying machine is pulled behind a tractor
Weed barrier fabric laying machine is pulled behind a tractor

For detailed information, click here.

Site preparation (i.e. plowing and disking, deep rototilling, etc.) to loosen the soil and eliminate competing vegetation is necessary before using these implements. Ideally, this should be done the autumn before seedlings will be planted. Site preparation also can be done in the spring prior to planting.

The landowner is responsible for supplying the tractor and operator needed to pull these implements. If you do not own or have access to a tractor, you might consider either renting or borrowing one. Please contact CSFS for more information about using these implements. Equipment availability is on a first-come, first-served basis.