Low-cost seedling trees and shrubs from the Colorado State Forest Service--South East Area are now available for order, as part of the 2019 Trees for Conservation seedling tree program. The program aids landowners impacted by recent fires, to obtain seedlings at a minimal cost to replace damaged or lost trees. The seedlings can also be used for conservation and land rehabilitation purposes.
New for the 2019 season, the CSFS Woodland Park, Canon City, and La Veta Field Offices have merged programs to increase consistency and efficiency. The program now serves Custer, El Paso, Fremont, Park, Teller, Huerfano, and Las Animas counties. This year, April 4, 2019 is the order deadline, but early orders are encouraged while a larger species selection is available.
The focus of the program is to help landowners to meet conservation goals, restore forests impacted by wildfire and other disturbance, reduce soil loss, and enhance wildlife habitat. The program also allows landowners to plant vegetation in areas impacted by tree insects and diseases.
Forester Mike Till hopes the program will inspire landowners to take personal pride in the care of their properties through planting trees or shrubs. Planting seedlings can help increase the resilience of the forest to natural disasters by re-establishing lost vegetation, reducing soil erosion, improving air quality, and improving regional species diversity.
When considering which species to plant, landowners should consider elevation, aspect and soil type. Some of the most successful species for these counties are Caragana, New Mexico privet, Ponderosa pine, Douglas-fir and Rocky Mountain juniper. The South East Area field offices also sell a variety of seedling survival accessories including wind shades, tree guards, fertilizer tablets, and weed barrier.
Orders made by April 4, 2019 will be available for pickup at the field offices in late April to the beginning of May 2019. For more information or to obtain an order form, go to csfs.colostate.edu/southeast/, click on "2019 Seedling Tree Order Form" or call (719) 687-2921.