Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF)has been growing seedlings for Virginia landowners for more than 100 years. When you put your money in the ground in the form of seedlings, you need to start with the best stock available; stock suited for Virginia soils and climate. The cultural practices that we use in growing seedlings in our seedbeds are based on more than 60 years of research and experience in quality production. In addition to the wide selection of more than 40 species of bare-root seedlings, we also offer specialty seedling packs suitable for various wildlife habitats, and now offer containerized longleaf and shortleaf pine.
Our bare-root seedlings are sold directly from the seedbed without replanting, and seedling age is indicated with 1-0, 2-0 and 3-0 (one-, two- and three-year-old). We offer a variety of pine and spruce species, as well as dozens of hardwood varieties, used to establish timber stands, pulpwood crops, Christmas tree plantations, wildlife habitats, stream bank stabilization, urban forests, biodiversity, and improvement of watersheds. Pine and hardwood seed are sown at our two nurseries and grown one to three years in the seedbeds before lifting.
Seedlings are lifted during winter dormancy, visually inspected, harvested, hand-graded, labeled, and packaged for delivery. Many of our hardwood species are grown from acorns and seeds collected by volunteers and donated to our nurseries. Virginia-grown seed generally produces trees that will grow well in our state.
Read more about why Virginia trees are best for Virginia land.
Learn how you can help with seed and acorn collection.
Most of VDOF nursery stock are bare-root seedlings. The best time to plant bare-root seedlings in Virginia is February to March because of cold weather. Seedlings are typically available for pickup or shipped from January to April, weather depending.
Many landowners across Virginia are starting to look for ways to accelerate early growth in their pine plantations and containerized seedlings may be a great way to do that. Container seedlings grow at a rapid pace when planted at the correct time. However, container seedlings are best planted in the fall and the overall planting window is much more extended. All container seedlings will be packaged by November 1 and will need to be picked up by mid-December.
Seedlings for a Specific Purpose
VDOF nurseries grow a variety of pine, spruce, and hardwood tree species to meet the needs of Virginians. It is important to identify what your goal is when choosing seedling species, such as growing trees for beauty, wildlife, water quality protection, profit, or some other goal. You can choose specific species or choose from our custom seedling packs combining specific species to meet common goals, such as a fall color pack, pollinator pack, quail habitat pack, riparian buffer seedling pack, and wildlife seedling pack.
VDOF nurseries also grow diminished species, longleaf pine and shortleaf pine, to aid in restoration efforts.
Read more about diminished species production.
Buy Virginia Tree Seedlings
- Buy seedlings on our on-line Seedling Store.
- Read how to place tax-exempt seedling orders.
- Read how to place reforestation seedling orders.
Portions of the land and the physical facilities at the nurseries are used to educate and inform the public, for research by state and private universities, and for outdoor learning opportunities for school groups to supplement the science curriculum and for kids to study nature.
- View a pictorial tour of nursery operations.
- Read more about the tools of the trade.
- Read more about the history of VDOF nurseries.
Information sheet provides descriptions of various species of acorns with links to detailed species information.
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|Hardwood Planting Guide||P00137|
Brochure illustrates and explains proper planting techniques for planting bare-root hardwood seedlings. Printed copies available.
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|Pine Planting Guide||P00117|
Brochure illustrates and explains proper planting techniques for planting bare-root pine seedlings. Printed copies available.
|Publication||View||nurseries||homeowner-assistance landowner-resources pine-management reforestation seedling-nurseries tree-planting||publication|
|Planting Instructions for Your Loblolly Pine Seedling Plug – Tips for Success||FT0030|
Forestry topic information sheet provides instructions for proper planting of a loblolly pine seedling plug.
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|Reforestation Tree Seedling and Service Order||12.01||Form||View||nurseries||seedling-sales||form|
|Seedling Price Guide||P00139|
Brochure provides a simple listing of seedling species available for sale at our state Nurseries and current pricing. For more detailed species information, see our Web Store. Customers can order on-line at our Web Store or by mail with the included order form. Printed copies available.
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|Seeking Acorns and Seeds – We Need Your Help – Acorn and Seed Collection Procedures||FT0011|
Forestry topic information sheet encourages citizens to get involved in the collection of acorns and seed for propagation at our nursery, including the species needed, how and when to collect, and where to deliver seed.
|Services for Landowners||P00112|
Brochure provides information about the services available to landowners from the Virginia Department of Forestry, including forest management and forest health, timber harvesting and water quality, land conservation, tree seedling production, and resource protection. Printed copies available.
|Publication||View||fire-and-emergency-response forest-health forest-management forestland-conservation nurseries urban-and-community-forestry water-quality||agency-services conservation forest-health-impacts forest-planning land-planning landowner-assistance seedling-nurseries timber-harvesting water-quality-laws water-quality-protection wildfire-prevention wildfire-suppression||publication|
|Tree Seedling and Understory Plant Presence in Deer Exclosures on the Matthews State Forest||CNRE-138NP|
The purpose of this case study was to determine the impact of deer on the composition of the herbaceous and regeneration layer in two stands in the Matthews State Forest. This report summarizes the findings of this case study.
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|Tree Seedling Catalog Order||12.02||Form||View||nurseries||seedling-sales||form|
|Virginia’s Best Genetics in Loblolly Pine – Loblolly Pine Crop Highlights||FT0001|
Forestry topic information sheet details why Virginia trees are your best choice, including cooperative research efforts, advantages of our genetically improved loblolly pine, benefits of top clipping seedlings, importance of dormancy, pales weevil treatments, and details about our genetically improved seedlings available for sale. Printed copies available.
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|Your Roots are in Virginia|
This poster is a pictoral representation of the history of VDOF nurseries.