Seedling Tree Nursery
The Nursery will NOT accept new orders for Spring 2023.
The CSFS Seedling Tree Nursery is taking critical steps to improve facilities, expand staffing and increase production of quality seedlings. These improvements are essential as the Nursery has experienced significant staff shortages and failing infrastructure, and this focus on updates will unfortunately require short-term reductions in production at the facility. All existing orders and contracts for Spring 2023 will be fulfilled, but no new orders will be accepted at this time.
Thank you for your patience and support as we take these crucial steps to better meet the tree needs of landowners and partners across the West. Contact Scott Godwin with any questions.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Nursery’s Temporary Reduction in Production
When will the Nursery take new orders again?
The Nursery has been hard at work and plans to provide a modest offering of the usual products for purchase in Fall 2023/Spring 2024.
There will be an update on July 1, 2023 that will include information on the details of the Nursery Program, crop availability, and pricing information for the coming sales season. Please refer back to this page at that time to see the latest information available.
Will existing orders be filled?
Yes! All existing orders will be filled. The nursery can’t accept new orders at this time.
Will Restoring Colorado’s Forest Fund program be affected?
Seedling orders under this program will be fulfilled as usual. There should be no effect on the RCFF orders.
Why is this hiatus in new orders happening now?
The COVID pandemic severely limited staffing at the Nursery, and we’re seeing the effects of that now. For the past 2.5 years, the Nursery has experienced significant staffing issues due to mandatory closures, lack of student hourlies and other related issues. At the same time, the infrastructure is seriously outdated.
How is the Nursery addressing the staffing and infrastructure issues?
The Colorado State Legislature passed HB22-1323 during the 2022 legislative session. This provides $5 million in funding for the Nursery. An external party will conduct an assessment of the Nursery and deliver suggestions for improvements to both the infrastructure and staffing. This assessment is expected by the end of 2022.
Are there other states that sell trees near me?
Other western states that have nurseries or tree orchards include Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, Nevada, Texas and Washington. Interested buyers will have to work directly with other sellers to determine species and shipping availability.
Trees for Conservation
Few conservation efforts provide the extensive and enduring benefits of planting seedling trees. Seedling trees help:
- Reforest burned areas
- Enhance wildlife habitat
- Reduce soil erosion
- Protect water supplies
- Serve as living snow fences that provide protection from wind and snow
Growing low-cost seedlings for Colorado landowners is vital to meeting the state’s conservation goals.
Working with Landowners
The Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) Nursery, located on the Foothills Campus of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, is the state’s leader in producing low-cost, Colorado-grown seedling trees and shrubs for conservation purposes. The CSFS Nursery produces more than 40 species, all selected for their hardiness and adaptability, which are ideal for landowners and land managers to use for conservation in Colorado’s diverse environments.
Situated on 130 acres managed for field production of bare-root seedlings, the nursery also uses 18,000 square feet of greenhouse space for container plant production. Nursery staff continuously conduct trials to identify new species that will address landowner needs.
The seedling program allows farmers, ranchers, other landowners and land managers to obtain trees at a nominal cost to help achieve conservation goals, including:
- Restoration after wildfire, flood and other natural disturbances
- Growing shelterbelts, windbreaks and living snow fences
- Creating and enhancing wildlife habitat
- Protecting homes, cropland, livestock and highways
- Increasing erosion control
- Practicing “backyard” conservation that promotes clean air and water
Conservation and sustainability are the nursery’s primary goals, with a commitment to community, stewardship and cooperation.
The nursery supports education about conservation practices – particularly to Colorado youth – through tours, field trips, workshops and community engagement.
The CSFS Nursery works with Colorado State University and other partners on research that examines the state’s most pressing natural resource issues.
Nursery staff share findings from plant trials, seed stratification tests and similar research to contribute knowledge to cooperating agencies.
Take a Virtual Tour
Discover the behind-the-scenes activity at our Fort Collins facility by visiting our Take a Quick Tour of the Nursery page.
You’ll learn about:
- Greenhouse production
- Bare root production
- Conservation efforts
The CSFS Nursery offers hardy plants specifically tailored for individual riparian site improvement.
Riparian plants are grown in deep tubes to establish substantial root masses that can easily access subsurface moisture.
CSFS growers rely on knowledge gained from growing plants for landscapes damaged in the massive 2013 flooding.
That understanding ensures success with today’s riparian restoration projects.
The CSFS Nursery can focus on time-sensitive, specialty growing by adapting production plans to meet the needs of customers. Partnerships to restore sage grouse habitat in western Colorado highlight one of the many custom grow efforts led by the nursery.
Regardless of the size of a project, the nursery can accommodate specialty plant grows including:
- Site-specific plant requirements
- Habitat restoration
- Vegetative harvests
- Propagation and emergency grows to support extreme site disturbance
The CSFS Nursery is proud to be the only facility currently offering large storage services for seed, plant material and vegetative harvests to northern Colorado and the Front Range.
The nursery boasts 6,700 square feet of stackable, refrigerated space for long- or short-term storage.
Prices are based on space requirements and additional services the nursery can provide, such as scales, forklifts and after-hours access.