GFC selling seedlings during tree planting season

COVINGTON -- Cooler weather means trees are dormant and in perfect condition for planting, and once again, the Georgia Forestry Commission is offering a chance for landowners to buy seedlings in bulk at a discounted price.

GFC is selling seedlings from the Flint River Nursery in Byromville.

Available species this year include pine, oak, dogwood, crepe myrtle, redbuds, crabapple, persimmon and sawtooth oak. A full list of the varieties of seedlings for sale is available at www.gatrees.org. Trees can also be ordered online or by calling 1-800-GA-TREES (1-800-428-7337).

Orders will be delivered to the local GFC unit at 2707 Access Road in Covington through the end of February.

"All of our seedlings come from native Georgia trees so they do very well in Georgia soils and climate," said Chief Ranger Mike Sapp with GFC's DeKalb/Henry/Newton/Rockdale unit.

Between December and April is the ideal time to plant trees in Georgia, because they are dormant and are more easily transported and planted, according to a GFC press release. Rainfall is also more plentiful during winter, which helps roots to get established before hot weather arrives.

Seedlings come in packages from 10 to as many as 1,000. A popular package for homeowners is the ornamental package, which includes five dogwood, five crepe myrtle and five redbud trees for $45. The wildlife package includes five crabapple, five persimmon and five sawtooth oak trees for the same price.

Flint River Nursery grows 15 million to 20 million seedlings a year. Rangers gather acorns from local trees and send them to the nursery for planting.

The nursery sells bare-root seedlings, resulting in cheaper prices, Sapp said, noting that the smallest pack of seedlings offered, a quantity of 10, costs $27.