Res­i­dents can or­der tree seedlings start­ing Oct. 2

Rappahannock News - - NEWS -

Vir­ginia’s much-an­tic­i­pated tree seedling store opens Mon­day morn­ing, Oct. 2, at 10. Or­ders may be placed on­line at buy­va­ or by calling the Au­gusta Forestry Cen­ter at 540-363-7000.

“We grew and sold more than 30 mil­lion tree seedlings last year,” said Justin Funk, forestry cen­ters man­ager. “And we ex­pect de­mand to re­main strong — so much so, that it’s likely some va­ri­eties of our Loblolly pine seedlings may sell out early.”

VDOF’s best seller — and the foun­da­tion of its nurs­ery pro­gram — is Loblolly pine. This species is planted on a wide range of sites east of the Blue Ridge Moun­tains and of­fers an in­vest­ment op­por­tu­nity for pri­vate landown­ers. All of the loblolly pine fam­i­lies have in­creased per­for­mance over unim­proved seedlings. Based upon field tri­als through age six, the Con­trol Pol­li­nated, Vir­ginia’s Best, Elite and Pre­mium fam­i­lies of seedlings have 90 per­cent, 71 per­cent, 60 per­cent and 50 per­cent gains, re­spec­tively, when prop­erly man­aged.

In ad­di­tion to Loblolly pine seedlings, VDOF nurs­eries of­fer 46 other species of tree seedlings for sale to Vir­ginia landown­ers. These species in­clude dog­wood, ap­ple, bald cy­press, maples, white pine and 10 species of oaks. They also have sev­eral spe­cialty seedling packs that are de­signed for spe­cific uses, such as ri­par­ian buf­fer es­tab­lish­ment, wildlife habi­tat en­hance­ment and quail man­age­ment. The new­est seedling pack, called the “pol­li­na­tor pack,” will pro­vide a good mix of tree species that are known for pro­duc­ing an abun­dance of food for our na­tive pol­li­na­tors.

Pay­ment must be made at the time of pur­chase. If plac­ing an or­der by phone or on­line, a credit card is the only ac­cepted method of pay­ment.

Tax-ex­empt or­ders must be placed over the phone or in per­son, and a fully com­pleted ST-18 form must be pro­vided be­fore the tax-ex­empt or­der is placed. Funk rec­om­mends hav­ing the form filled out in ad­vance and mailed/faxed to one of the VDOF forestry cen­ters to avoid de­lays.

“If you would like to browse our seedling cat­a­log prior to the store open­ing, it can be found on our Web­site at­va­ , or you can ac­cess the link on our Face­book page ‘Vir­ginia State Nurs­eries,’” said Funk. “We look for­ward to serv­ing you dur­ing an­other suc­cess­ful plant­ing sea­son.”

The Vir­ginia Depart­ment of Forestry pro­tects and de­vel­ops healthy, sus­tain­able for­est re­sources for Vir­gini­ans. Head­quar­tered in Char­lottesvill­e, the agency has forestry staff mem­bers as­signed to ev­ery county to pro­vide cit­i­zen ser­vice and pub­lic safety pro­tec­tion across the Com­mon­wealth, which it’s been do­ing now for more than 100 years.

With 16 mil­lion acres of forest­land and nearly 108,000 Vir­gini­ans em­ployed in forestry, for­est prod­ucts and re­lated in­dus­tries, Vir­ginia forests pro­vide an over­all eco­nomic im­pact of more than $21.5 bil­lion an­nu­ally.

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