ALAMOSA–The Colorado State Forest Service is now accepting orders for conservation seedlings to be delivered next spring. Although trees and shrubs across the San Luis Valley are entering dormancy, now is the time to start planning tree planting projects for next year. Also, placing seedling orders early helps to ensure the desired species will still be available.
The CSFS has been providing conservation seedlings and shrubs, as well as planting assistance, to the San Luis Valley for over 45 years. This year more than 30 varieties of trees and shrubs and 9 varieties of perennials are available from the CSFS Nursery in Fort Collins. The purpose of the CSFS seedling tree program is to encourage Colorado farmers, ranchers, and landowners to plant seedling trees, shrubs and perennials for conservation purposes, such as creating windbreaks, living snow fences, livestock shelter and pollinator habitat.
Sam Scavo, forester with the CSFS Alamosa District, says the seedling species list has changed a little this year, with two new species added to the list: red elderberry and thimbleberry.
“These shrubs produce fruit that is edible to both wildlife and humans, although the fruit of red elderberry must be properly prepared,” Scavo said. He said there are also new species added to the list of perennials, including aspen fleabane and stiff goldenrod. “Both are native to Colorado and would be a great addition to any pollinator garden.”
Seedling order forms, species information and planting instructions are available at http://csfs.colostate.edu/districts/alamosa-district/alamosa-seedling-trees.
This year, orders placed with the CSFS Alamosa District will be processed through the CSFS Gunnison Field Office. However, orders for conservation seedlings can still be placed in person through the CSFS Alamosa District office. Landowners should direct any questions regarding the Conservation Seedling Program to the Alamosa District office at 719-587-0915.
Orders for 2018 are not due until April 5, but Scavo recommends getting orders in much earlier to ensure availability of desired species, as some often sell out quickly. All seedlings will be available for pick up locally on April 20 next year.