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Howard Nursery

Public sale of seedlings is suspended for 2018 due to lack of surplus.  Seedling sales will begin again January 2019.

Seedlings For Schools Program

The Game Commission's Howard Nursery produces bare-root seedlings for wildlife food and cover on state game lands. The nursery has been producing and distributing 2 to 8 million seedlings annually for wildlife food and cover since 1954.

All Pennsylvania landowners may purchase seedlings for wildlife food and cover, watershed protection, soil erosion control, and for reclamation of disturbed areas, such as surface mine site and utility right-of-ways.

The goal of the Howard Nursery is to provide the finest tree seedlings available of those species that best provide for the various needs of wildlife, including food and shelter. All of our stock is inspected annually by the state Department of Agriculture and certified to be disease-free.

The selection of seedlings changes from year to year due to available seed, seedling germination or growing conditions or increased use for state game land projects. With the exception of black locust, all of our hardwoods are grown from seed collected and processed by Game Commission personnel from Pennsylvania sources.

In addition to making arrangements for landowners to pick up their seedling orders, the nursery also ships via United Parcel Service (UPS) for an additional fee. Orders are shipped Monday thru Wednesday to assure that your packages will not sit in an unrefrigerated warehouse over the weekend. Most orders are received the day after they are shipped. Generally seedlings ship in the month of April.

Please keep in mind that due to conditions beyond our control, such as ice and snow, wet weather, and frozen ground, we may not be able to ship trees as early as we would like. We will do everything we can do at the nursery to ensure timely shipping and arrival of trees.

Size Of Units

Seedlings are packaged in units of approximately 25. During counting and grading, some smaller seedlings are not counted; the net result is that many units contain more than 25 seedlings. For customers that wish to pick up their seedlings at the Howard Nursery, orders are bundled with units of seedlings root to root and rolled in shipping paper with tops sticking out both ends. A roll can contain more than 500 seedlings. Depending on the size of the order, age of the seedlings, and the species, bundles will be 30 to 36 inches long, up to 20 inches in diameter, and weigh no more than 30 pounds.

How Many To Plant

One thousand evergreen seedlings, planted at the recommended tree spacing of 6 feet by 6 feet, will occupy 1.5 acres of ground. Hardwood seedlings should be spaced a minimum of 10 feet by 10 feet with the exception of black locust and shrubs, which can be planted at 8 feet by 8 feet. One hundred hardwoods will occupy a ¼-acre and 1,000 will occupy 2 acres (black locust and shrubs occupy less space).

Transportation Of Seedlings

To prevent unnecessary damage to tree seedlings by heat buildup and wind exposure seedlings should NOT be transported in open trucks or trailers. Seedlings may be transported in pickup trucks equipped with hard, ventilated caps or enclosed trailers with ventilation or air conditioning. Acceptable car transportation is inside your vehicle, not in the trunk. Air conditioning should be operated during seedling transport. In no case should seedling packages be stacked more than three high in any vehicle. Every effort should be made to ensure that packaged seedlings are not exposed to direct sunlight or wind during transport.

Care Of Seedlings

After transport, open bundles and ensure roots are moist. Roots and packing material should be cool and damp to touch but should not be soaking wet. Add water to roots (not tops) if necessary. Seedlings should be planted as soon as possible. May be stored in a basement or other cool, dark area at 35 to 50° for up to one week.

When Delivered Via UPS

The package should be opened immediately and inspected; plant roots should be moistened with water if necessary. Shipping containers can be used to carry seedlings to planting site. Please see the packing list on the outside of the shipping container for more detailed planting directions.


Detailed planting directions will be included with your packaged seedlings.

Bundle Information        

Bundles are not eligible for discount pricing nor do they count toward the required amount needed for any discounts. In the event that an item is unavailable at the time of shipping, an appropriate substitution will be made.


Howard Nursery
197 Nursery Road
Howard, PA 16841
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