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For Release: Friday, February 3, 2017

Saratoga Tree Nursery Kicks Off Annual Tree and Shrub Seedling Sale

DEC's Tree Nursery Offers Variety of Seedlings to Create Effective Windbreaks and Snow Fences

More than 50 species of trees and shrubs from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) Saratoga Tree Nursery are now available to public and private landowners and schools, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today. Winter winds often cause blowing and drifting snow that can create hazardous road conditions, reduced visibility and other safety issues. Strong, cold winds may also reduce home heating efficiency, increase winter energy bills, and even impact unsheltered livestock herds. By planting rows of trees and shrubs at right angles to prevailing winds, an effective natural windbreak can be created.

"Living windbreaks can improve road conditions, protect livestock, create wildlife habitat, and save New Yorkers money on their utility bills," Commissioner Seggos said. "DEC's state tree nursery has a variety of seedling species for creating windbreaks. I encourage all New Yorkers to take advantage of this great resource and to work with our foresters and experts at the nursery to maximize the conservation benefits of your plantings."

Spruces, pines, shrub willows, dogwoods, high bush cranberry, winged sumac, white cedar, and wetland rose are among the 50 species available. The seedlings from the State's Saratoga Tree Nursery can also help landowners create wildlife habitat and improve air and water quality in their backyard. In addition, many types of trees and shrubs provide important food sources for bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects, which have declined over recent years.

The seedling sale provides low-cost, native planting materials from New York seed sources to encourage landowners to enhance the state's environment for future generations. Mixed species packets are also available. Enhancing habitat in your backyard is made easy with packets of trees and shrubs for your specific planting goals including enhancement of ruffed grouse habitat, Long Island habitat, and riparian and streamside habitat. All packets also include plant species that attract pollinators.

For more information, visit the Spring Seedling Sale web page on DEC's website.

Schools Can Complete Conservation Planting for Free

Schools across New York are eligible to receive free seedlings for spring planting through the DEC School Seedling Program, which provides 50 tree seedlings or a mixed packet of 30 wildlife shrubs to any public or private school that would like to participate. The seedlings can be planted on school grounds or other community spaces, and offer teachers a great resource to enhance environmental lessons.

Applications to participate are available at DEC's School Seedling Program website, or by contacting the Saratoga Tree Nursery at (518) 581-1439.

Interested schools can also contact the nearest DEC regional forestry office to request a "School Seedlings" brochure, which contains all the information necessary to place an order. Applications must be received at the nursery by March 31, 2017.

Order Your Saratoga Tree Nursery Bareroot Seedlings

Since the opening of the Saratoga Tree Nursery in 1911, more than 1.6 billion seedlings have been produced to enhance and protect New York's environment. For more information on the history and benefits of this program, visit the Saratoga Tree Nursery web page.

The Saratoga Tree Nursery primarily sells bare-root stock for direct plantings, but a few species are available as containerized stock. Landowners can receive planting advice from their nearest DEC forestry office or private forestry consultant. The 2017 Tree and Shrub brochure (PDF, 170 KB) can be found on DEC's Saratoga Tree Nursery Background web page, or by calling the Saratoga Tree Nursery at (518) 581-1439. Some species sell out quickly.

To order seedlings by phone, contact the nursery on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at (518) 587-1120. Mail orders are also accepted and can be sent to the NYSDEC Saratoga Tree Nursery, 2369 Route 50, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. Orders may be placed through mid-May. Seedlings are shipped from mid-April to mid-May.

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