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 tall are the seedlings?

A: Seedling height ranges from 6 to 30 inches depending on the species and age class. Specific size information, including full grown height and spread, can be found on the product page of each species listed on our website. As seedling sizes can be highly variable, an average height is associated with each age class for each species.

Q: How many seedlings can I purchase?

A: Seedlings are sold in multiples of 25 per species with 25 being the minimum amount that can be ordered. Songbird packets are an exception to this as they are sold as one item.  

Q: Can I purchase seedlings if I live out of the state of Iowa?

A: Yes! We ship to most U.S. states (excluding Colorado, Hawaii, and Alaska). The shipping provider and costs are determined during the online checkout process.

Q: How are the seedlings shipped?

A: Your seedlings will be packaged in large (approximately 56" x 25” x 10"), triple lined paper shipping bags to be shipped out to you. Inside the paper shipping bag, your seedlings will be in plastic bags labeled with the species of tree or shrub. Seedling roots are moistened prior to being sealed in the plastic bag. SpeeDee Delivery handles deliveries within Iowa and most bordering states, and FedEx delivers the rest. The delivery driver will deliver your trees to your property, no signature required. Seedlings cannot be delivered to a PO Box.  

Q: Can I pick up my seedlings at the Nursery to avoid shipping fees?

A: Yes! Picking your seedlings up at the Nursery will allow you to avoid shipping fees. The Nursery will have your order ready for pick up between the hours of 8:30am and 4:00pm on Thursday and Friday of the week you selected when placing your order. There is no need to make an appointment, just follow the posted signs upon arrival at the Nursery. 

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. Most orders will easily fit in the back of a pickup truck, and many of the smaller orders (200 seedlings or less) will fit in a regular car. On the other hand, some of the larger orders may need a trailer. The seedlings will be in large paper bags; approximate size is 56" x 25" x 10".

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; however, if you need a little more time, you can store your seedlings in their shipping bag somewhere cool and out of the sun (a basement is ideal) for about a week. After that, the viability of your seedlings may begin to decline.  

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

A: We recommend storing your seedlings in their shipping bags until you are ready to plant. On the day you will be planting, place your seedlings in a bucket with water covering the roots approximately one 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. It is possible for bare root seedlings to receive too much water and not survive. 

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

A: Many of our hardwood and evergreen seedlings 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 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 your District Forester can be found on the Iowa DNR's Forestry webpage.