Forest Service offers free trees

The Colorado State Forest Service is now accepting applications on a first-come, first-serve basis for more than 40 varieties of low-cost seedling trees and shrubs grown at its Fort Collins nursery. Seedlings ordered now will be distributed statewide next spring.

Coloradans who are interested in conservation goals such as creating natural windbreaks, improving wildlife habitat or reforesting properties impacted by wildfire or floods are eligible to purchase the low-cost seedlings. CSFS Nursery Manager Josh Stolz says Colorado-grown species are adaptable, hardy and ideal for a variety of conservation uses.

“We’re very excited about our inventory options this year,” Stolz said. “We have new species, more size options and good quantities to accommodate virtually any conservation need.”

The CSFS seedling tree program is designed to encourage Colorado landowners to plant seedling trees and shrubs for conservation purposes. Through a cooperative effort with Colorado State University Extension offices and county conservation districts throughout the state, approximately 5,000 Coloradans receive CSFS seedling trees each year.

Seedling trees have many uses and benefits, including:

Wind/snow control to protect roadways and livestock
Enhanced wildlife habitat and reforestation
Increased property values
Energy conservation through reduced utility bills
Carbon sequestration
Reduced soil erosion

To purchase seedling trees from the CSFS, landowners must agree to use them for conservation purposes only. There is no minimum acreage requirement.

For more information about the CSFS seedling tree program, contact a local CSFS district office, visit csfs.colostate.edu or call the CSFS Nursery at 970-491-8429.

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