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Seedling Trees Ideal for Reforestation after Pine Beetles, Fire

February 9, 2010

[Source: Kimberly Sorensen for Colorado State University]

So far, the mountain pine beetle has impacted approximatly 3 million acres of forest in Colorado and southern Wyoming.

Landowners interested in reforesting mountain properties recently ravaged by insect infestation or wildfire may be eligible for low-cost seedling trees from the Colorado State Forest Service.

The CSFS Nursery offers a wide variety of native seedling trees ideal for restoration in areas impacted by the recent mountain pine beetle infestation, including lodgepole pine, Douglas-fir, ponderosa pine and aspen. “In addition to replanting the tree species that was attacked, you should plant a variety of native trees to minimize the impact of future pests to your forest,” said Nursery Manager Randy Moench.

The CSFS seedling tree program is designed to encourage Colorado farmers, ranchers and rural landowners to plant native seedling trees for conservation purposes, including reforestation to replace dead or dying trees. About 5,000 Coloradans currently plant seedling trees each year to create windbreaks, enhance wildlife habitat, protect livestock and meet other conservation goals.

Moench says cost effectiveness is a major benefit of planting seedlings. “Planting 50 to 100 mature trees can get very expensive, but the same number of seedlings is quite affordable.”

Other benefits of planting seedling trees include increased property values, energy conservation and reduced utility bills.

To purchase seedling trees from the CSFS, landowners must meet the following criteria:

  • Own two or more acres of land
  • Use the seedlings for conservation purposes only
  • Purchase seedlings in minimums of 30 to 50 (depending on species and size)
  • Agree not to use seedlings for landscaping or resale

Seedling orders are now being accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis, but Moench said it’s a good idea to order as soon as possible. “Landowners who order before mid-March will have the best selection to choose from,” he said.

More information about the CSFS seedling tree program is available at local CSFS district offices and the Colorado State Forest Service Web site at www.csfs.colostate.edu.

The Colorado State Forest Service is an agency of Colorado State University’s Warner College of Natural Resources.

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