Landowners Can Help Wildlife By Planting Trees And Shrubs

While it might be winter, landowners can begin making plans to help wildlife this spring –and beyond –by planting tree and shrub seedlings offered by the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Howard Nursery.

The 2016 seedling order form is available online, and sales began this morning.

Most seedlings are sold in units of 25, but 100-seedling bundles also are available in mixes to benefit deer and birds, as well as to improve riparian and winter-thermal habitats.

The 2016 order form contains a wide selection of evergreens, shrubs and fruit-and nut-bearing trees. Most species are native to Pennsylvania, and with the exception of black locust, all of the available hardwoods are grown from seed collected from Pennsylvania sources and processed by Game Commission personnel.

There are many new offerings this year. One of them is Eastern red-cedar, a fast-growing evergreen that produces a berry-like cone that’s used by many birds. A unit of 25 seedlings is available for $8.75.

Chinese chestnut, Douglas-fir and dwarf chinquapin oak seedlings –none of which were offered for sale in 2015 –are back on the 2016 order form.

And also returning is an assorted standard apple pack –a 25-seedling mixture of yellow and red delicious, northern spy, rusty coat, wine sap, Jonathon, McIntosh, Cortland, Rome, Tiedemann and unidentified heavy-producing seedlings. This is the first time since 2012 the bundle has been offered for sale, and it’s priced at $12.50.

Many of the seedlings offered for sale can be purchased at a discounted price.

Although a discount is not offered for all species or habitat bundles, orders of 12 or more total units qualify for applicable discounted pricing. With the discount, prices are as low as $3.75 per unit, or 15 cents per seedling.

Species that qualify for the discount are marked on the order form.

Annetta Ayers, superintendent at Howard Nursery, said there is a very limited supply of some of the seedlings for sale, wild plum included. Those who are interested might want to call Howard Nursery at 814-355-4434. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 7 a. m. to 3:30 p. m.

Orders can be placed by telephone, as well.

The order form and information about the seedlings for sale will be available at the Game Commission’s website, www.pgc. state. pa. us. Place your cursor over “General Store” in the menu bar at the top of the homepage, then scroll down to “Howard Nursery” and select “2016 Seedling Order Form” from the drop-down menu.

If you have problems downloading the order form, you likely need to install the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader, which can be found by doing an Internet search and downloaded for free.

The order form can be completed and submitted online, or printed out and faxed or mailed. Payment is not due until the order is confirmed by Howard Nursery. For those without Internet access, order forms can be obtained at Game Commission offices or various displays or booths at shows in which the agency participates through the spring or by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Howard Nursery, 197 Nursery Road, Howard, PA 16841.

While the order form provides a brief description of the tree species available and their benefits to birds and wildlife, more information is available on the website under “Tree Seedling Index.”

The preferred method of delivery is by United Parcel Service (UPS). Shipping and handling charges apply.

Orders are shipped only Monday through Wednesday to assure delivery for weekend planting. However, orders also may be picked up in person at the nursery once buyers are notified the order is ready.

Generally, seedlings ship in the month of April.