This story is a staff report from The Paper.

The Forestry Division encourages landowners to help restore and protect New Mexico’s ecosystems by planting seedlings.

The Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) Forestry Division fall conservation seedling sale is now underway. More than 55 varieties of seedlings will be available to order online, including three new species for the first time – Osage orange, American sycamore and golden-beard penstemon. All proceeds from the fall seedling sale are reinvested back into the Conservation Seedling Program.

This year’s seedling lineup will also include long-time favorites, such as ponderosa pine, Douglas-fir, piñon pine, Austrian pine, Scots pine and a large variety of shrubs like the flowering cliff rose and Apache plume. 

To qualify for the program, purchasers must own at least one acre of land in New Mexico and use the seedlings for conservation purposes, including erosion control, reforestation, wildlife habitat and windbreaks.

“It’s more important than ever that landowners impacted by the historic wildfires we experienced this year consider planting seedlings in the fall to help bring back what was lost in a shorter period of time,” said Carol Bada, Conservation Seedling Program Manager. “While it will take decades for trees and some shrubs to re-grow naturally on the burned landscape, you can get a five-year head start by manually planting seedlings now.”

One-year-old, small container seedlings (10 cu inch container) of the same species and multi-species bundles are available in minimum lots of 49 seedlings for $80. Two-season, large container seedlings (40 cu inch container) are available in lots of 20 seedlings for $57. There is a $5 handling fee per order and an additional $20 fee per lot for all UPS orders – ALL SALES ARE FINAL.

Ordering is on a first come first serve basis and landowners are encouraged to purchase seedlings in early July for the best selection. The last day to purchase seedlings online will be October 7, 2022. Distribution will be mid-September through mid-October. This includes curbside pickup at the Forestry Division seedling warehouse, Casa de Arboles (Tree House), located at 3250 Calle Princessa Juana in Santa Fe. Warehouse hours are Thursdays and Fridays from 8:30am – 12:00pm and 1:00pm – 4:30pm. 

A complete list of available seedlings, ordering information, and additional program details are available at https://www.emnrd.nm.gov/sfd/seedlings/. Visa, Discover, or Master Card are accepted for payment online. Checks are accepted with a mail-in application form. which can be downloaded from our website or mailed. Landowners may contact the New Mexico Forestry Division at (505) 476-3325 to obtain a copy of the mail-in form.