FAQs

Q: What kinds of seedlings do you sell?

A: We sell a variety of bare root seedlings with a focus on native Iowa trees and shrubs.  

Q: How are the trees shipped?

A: Your trees will be packaged in large paper shipping bags to be shipped out to you. Inside of the shipping bag, your trees will be in plastic bags labeled with the species of tree or shrub. Most of our shipping is done either via SpeeDee delivery service or FedEx. The delivery driver will deliver your trees to your property. Seedlings cannot be delivered to a PO Box.  

Q: Can I pick up my seedlings at the tree nursery to avoid shipping?

A: Yes, you can. Picking up your trees up at the nursery will allow you to avoid the cost of having your trees shipped, and give you more control over what day you receive your trees. We ask that you give us a call at least 48 hours before you would like to pick up your trees so we will have time to get them ready for you. The nursery is open for pickups Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Q: How much space do I need in my vehicle to pick up my seedlings? 

A: This really depends on what you ordered including the number, size, and species of trees. Most orders will easily fit in the back of a pickup truck, and many of the smaller orders (200 seedlings or so) will fit in a regular car. On the other hand, some of the larger orders may need a trailer. We package the seedling orders in large paper shipping bags, and if asked we will usually be able to tell you about how many bags you will have. If you are not sure it is best to ask when you call to schedule your pickup day.

Q: Once I receive my seedlings how quickly do I need to get them in the ground? 

A: Once you receive your seedlings it is best to get them planted as soon as possible, but if necessary you can store your seedlings in their shipping bag for around 7 to 10 days. After that the viability of your seedlings will begin to decline. Try to keep your seedlings somewhere cool and out of the sun, but not so cool your seedlings will freeze and thaw.    

Q: Should I put my seedlings in water when I get home?    

A: We recommend storing your seedlings in their shipping bags if possible, until you are ready to plant. When you are ready to start planting  we recommend you place your trees in a bucket with water covering the roots an hour before you start to plant, leaving them in the water until the trees are planted. Be very careful if you are putting your seedlings in water a day or more before planting, as it is possible for bare root seedlings to drown. 

Q: Do you prune the roots of your tree seedlings?

A: Many of our hardwood and evergreen trees are root pruned. This practice helps develop more lateral roots and controls top growth, improving the seedlings’ balance and survival with a larger root system and shorter top.

Q: Why are some seedlings top pruned?

A: We top prune certain seedlings to maintain a balance between above ground shoots and the available root system. This practice helps the seedlings concentrate energy at the root level, which increases the survival rate. It also aids in packaging, allowing the bags to be sealed well so the roots stay moist. 

Q: Any tips on how to plant?

A: Yes, you can visit our Tree Planting Tips page for some tips and suggestions. 

Q: What if I need more help determining where to plant my trees and what to plant?

A: If you need help figuring out what tree species will grow well on your land and where you should plant them, you can contact your DNR District Forester.  The contact information for you Dstrict Forester can be found on the Iowa DNR webpage under Forestery. (http://www.iowadnr.gov/Conservation/Forestry)