Reforestation News

Seedlings still available for spring 2018 planting

Although a snowy spring has slowed work at the state nursery in Boscobel, the reforestation staff is busy lifting, grading and preparing seedlings for customers. If you have not yet placed your order, there are still some species available. Hardwood tree species still available include red oak, swamp white oak, white oak, bur oak, black cherry, and black walnut. Wildlife shrubs available include choke cherry, hazelnut, ninebark, juneberry and American plum. A few additional species may become available in the coming weeks.

Call (715) 424-3700 for up-to-date information on seedling availability and to place an order.

Seedlings are to be used for reforestation, wildlife habitat and windbreak and erosion control purposes and must be planted on Wisconsin forest land. Answers to the most common questions are available on this “Frequently Asked Questions” page.


Written by Jeremiah Auer, Regeneration Specialist,, 715-459-1999

Purchase tree seedlings now

The Reforestation Program has begun its annual tree seedling and shrub sales. The tree and shrub seedlings are available to all Wisconsin landowners interested in planting for conservation purposes such as forest products, wildlife habitat and erosion control. Information on seedling availability, species information, tips on how to prepare a site for tree planting and ordering instructions are available on the DNR website (, keyword “tree planting”).

There is a minimum order of 1,000 tree seedlings, 500 wildlife shrubs or a mixed packet of 300 seedlings. Hardwood tree species available include native oak (bur, red, swamp white and white), maples (red, silver and sugar), shagbark hickory, black cherry, butternut, black walnut, river birch, aspen and hackberry. Conifer tree species available include white spruce, black spruce, white pine, tamarack, red pine, jack pine, hemlock and white cedar. Wildlife shrubs available include American plum, red osier and silky dogwood, hazelnut, juneberry and choke cherry. A current inventory of which species are available is maintained on the DNR website.

The orders will be distributed in April and early May and can be picked up at the state nurseries located in Boscobel, Hayward, or Wisconsin Rapids, or delivered to a central location designated by the local DNR forester. Even though seedlings are not shipped for planting until spring, it is important to order now because many species sell out quickly.

For assistance, contact Carey Skerven at or (715) 424-3703.

Collect seeds in Wisconsin for us

Are you looking for a fun activity for yourself or your family this fall? Why not spend some time helping the Wisconsin reforestation team fill our seed coffers.

The Wisconsin state nurseries have been producing seedlings since 1911. In that time, there have been many changes in personnel, growing techniques and distribution methods. However, something that has remained constant is the source of those seedlings: Wisconsin seeds. The vast majority of seedlings produced at the Wisconsin state nurseries originate from seed collected from native trees. From the tiny, pepper-like seed of aspen to the large, husky black walnut, the reforestation staff at the nurseries collects, cleans and stores hundreds of pounds of more than 30 varieties of native tree and shrub seed every year.

While we are able to satisfy some of our needs, we rely heavily on members of the public to collect for us as well. For those interested in becoming seed collectors, we publish a newsletter every fall. Information on seed collection and the 2017 Seed Collector’s Newsletter can be found on the DNR website. Our staff is always available to answer questions about seed collection or any other reforestation topic.

Head outdoors this fall. You will be amazed at how much fun it is to crawl around in the woods for a few hours picking up acorns or walnuts!

Written by Jeremiah Auer, Wisconsin DNR forest regeneration specialist, (715) 459-1999,

Preparing your site for tree planting

Now is a great time to start planning for tree planting next spring and site preparation is a critical component of that planning. During the end of the growing season, while the landscape is in full bloom and lush, landowners are better able to visualize opportunities to develop wildlife habitat, provide visual barriers, and improve aesthetic qualities on their property. These timely observations and some research will provide the necessary information to determine how newly-established trees will impact their property. Continue reading “Preparing your site for tree planting”

DNR shipping trees; last chance to purchase seedlings

DNR’s reforestation program is busy harvesting seedlings from our nursery fields and shipping them to woodland owners throughout the state. If you own forest land in Wisconsin and still need seedlings for planting this spring, contact Carey Skerven ( as soon as possible or call the Wilson Nursery (608-375-4123) in Boscobel or the Griffith Nursery (715-424-3700) in Wisconsin Rapids. We will do our best to fill your orders.  Here are the species still available as of April 3:

Conifers: Jack pine 1-0, red pine 2-0, white pine 2-0, tamarack 2-0, and white cedar 3-0.

Hardwoods: Aspen 1-0, river birch 2-0, butternut 1-0, black cherry 1-0 and 2-0, hackberry 1-0, bitternut hickory 2-0, shagbark hickory 3-0, hard maple 2-0, red maple 2-0, silver maple 1-0 and 2-0, red oak 2-0, and black walnut 1-0.

Shrubs: Chokecherry 1-0, ninebark 1-0, and American plum 1-0.

For more information, contact Jeremiah Auer at (715) 459-1999 or

Managing seed orchards for tree improvement

White pine plantation

White pine plantation near Lake Tomahawk

Soon after the beginning of the nurseries in Wisconsin, managers realized they had a special role to play in the development of trees, especially when it came to disease resistance, growth, and form. In conjunction with the UW system, USDA Forest Service scientists and researchers and our own tree geneticist, nursery staff established a number of seed orchards.  Throughout the decades, we have explored and invested in new sites, creating a tree improvement program that is stocked with species in various stages of development and/or characteristic selection.

Continue reading “Managing seed orchards for tree improvement”

Reforestation monitoring update

2016 was the second season reforestation staff have use the revised protocol for monitoring reforestation sites. Due to ample rainfall and warm weather, the seedlings across the state are performing very well. This fall we are looking at sites that have gone through 3 and 7 years of growth and have visited 25 sites so far.

By Jeremiah Auer,, (715) 424-3700


Transline® herbicide trial begins

In keeping with the Reforestation Program’s mission of providing pertinent information to forestry professionals, we began a new herbicide field trial with Transline® (clopyralid). Many foresters and landowners are interested in applying herbicides after a site has been planted to inhibit weed competition. However, in the case of Transline®, not all species are referenced on the label. In addition, the varying rates prescribed may impact species differently. All of this can create a challenge for a forester or landowner when managing competition within the planting. Continue reading “Transline® herbicide trial begins”

Herbicide testing in nursery environment

Over the course of several years of monitoring new plantings on landowner properties throughout the state, reforestation staff encountered a wide range of herbicide prescriptions, with varying results. Often, staff encountered trees showing a high degree of stress, or even mortality, which appeared to be linked to the herbicide application.  The decision was made to test some herbicide treatments in our nursery to see how stock reacted to the chemical at various rates and application timings, under more controlled conditions than what is typically found on outplanted stock.  We selected Dupont Oust XP (Sulfometuron Methyl) as our test chemical, since it is the most widely used pre-emergent herbicide currently in use in Wisconsin.

Continue reading “Herbicide testing in nursery environment”