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Conservation tree planting program taking orders
Stacy Campbell
Stacy Campbell

The Kansas Forest Service Conservation Tree and Shrub spring distribution ordering process started on Dec. 1 and goes through May 1, 2023. Order early to get the items you want! Spring order shipments begin in mid-March (weather permitting) and end May 1.  

The spring distribution offers both bare root and container-grown seedlings for sale, as well as other items for use in conservation planting.  

“Large conservation plantings can become very costly when several hundreds or thousands of plants are needed to meet the conservation goals of the landowner,” said Aaron Yoder, conservation trees specialist.

The Kansas Forest Service offers low-cost tree and shrub seedlings for conservation plantings. These plants are 1 to 2 years old and vary from 8 to 36 inches tall, depending on species. Seedlings are sold in units of 25. Bundles and other items must be ordered in whole units. Orders for partial or mixed units will not be accepted. These seedlings are intended for conservation use only and may not be used for landscape plantings or resold as live plants.

Conservation plantings may function as wildlife habitat, windbreaks, wood lots, timber plantations, or educational and riparian (streambank) plantings. Species grown in the program are selected for characteristics that make them ideal candidates for conservation plantings. 

What is the difference between container-grown vs. bare-root seedlings?

Container-grown seedlings are grown in individual 2-inch by 7-inch containers filled with a greenhouse potting mix. Container-grown seedlings have an intact root system and come in the original container. The advantages of container-grown seedlings compared with bare-root seedlings are:

• Improved survival and first-year rate of growth under most conditions

• Extended spring planting season

• Greater flexibility in scheduling tree planting around soil conditions, weather conditions, and work schedule

• Easier to plant properly

Bare-root seedlings are grown 1 to 2 years in a field nursery, then lifted and shipped without soil on the roots.

A full list of available products can be found in their Seedling Selection Guide. There is even assistance finding the right tree for your purpose and property with the “Selecting Trees and Shrubs for Conservation Plantings.” All of this along with ordering on-line can be found at also orders are accepted over the phone by calling the Kansas Forest Service at 1-888-740-8733. 

But don’t delay order early so you can get the items you want. 

Stacy Campbell is an Agriculture and Natural Resources agent for Cottonwood Extension District. Email him at or call the Hays office, 785-628-9430.