GFC selling seedlings

COVINGTON -- The Georgia Forestry Commission is once again selling bare root seedlings just in time for planting season.

Each year, GFC offers landowners the chance to buy seedlings in bulk at discount prices from its Flint River Nursery in Byromville. The nursery grows 15 million to 20 million seedlings a year. Rangers gather acorns from local trees and send them to the nursery for planting. Proceeds from seedling sales go to keep the nursery self-sustaining.

This year, available seedlings include pines, oaks, dogwoods, crape myrtles and red cedars. News species available this year include the sawtooth-gobbler oak and the river birch.

They are available in packages of up to 1,000.

An ornamental package that includes five dogwoods, five crape myrtles and five redbuds, is available for $45, as is a wildlife package including five crabapples, five persimmons and five sawtooth oaks.

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, or 1-800-428-7337.

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

The seedlings have a very high survival rate, as they are species indigenous to Georgia, according to the Forestry Commission.

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 GFC. Rainfall is also more plentiful during winter, which helps roots to get established before hot weather arrives.

Seedlings are sold as bareroot and should be planted as soon as possible. Until planting, keep the seedlings cool and damp.