(NFR) Sources for Pine Seedlings, Others

Mike Etgen

Not Quite A Luddite, But Can See One From Here
It seems like there's always someone on this site who knows about resources for just about anything that comes up...so here's my inquiry:

I'm looking for pine seedlings, or for that matter, other seedlings or containerized native trees that I might be able to use at our home - with a rather large backyard we'd like to slowly naturalize and turn back into woodland.

I'm not looking for hundreds of seedlings, but we're talking about more than just a handful. I would like to find some economical alternatives, and if it involves someone who can offer or throw throw in some wisdom, advice or ideas, so much the better.

I'm also open to digging up smaller trees (of those varieties that tranplant well) if that's an option. However, wouldn't want to travel too far from Port Orchard or the transportation might offset the savings.

Any source, ideas, thoughts are welcome.

Something to remember when doing your plantings is that many species are elevation specific. Also summer is not the best time to plant trees or shrubs unless you like to buy a lot of water. Late fall is a good time to set in your new trees. At that time of the year many nurseries are getting rid of their stock and it can be a good time to buy your trees. There is a good nursery in Poulsbo and I can not remember it's name off hand.

Somethings to consider is the type of soil you are working with. Here a good nursery can help you make your selections. Take a good core sample in with you and they can help you and give planting recomendations. Another thing to consider is to buy larger starts than seedlings. It is easier to get your spacing that way and the mortality rate is greatly reduced. But spacing is a real key. If you want trees say like cedars or hemlocks that are full in form they take a lot of room to develope. A nursery can help here also. I know it seems like the expensive way to go by using a nursery, however a good nursery will generally guarante their stock. They are also a great source of information that is free. When you consider that most fully formed evergreens like about 30 to 40 feet of space to develope you probably aren't looking at that many trees.


Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
Shore Pines (pinus contorta) grow everywhere around here near the beach. I could probably find you some freebies. Two years ago I cleared two adjacent lots that were covered with hundreds of pine seedlings and saplings, and I couldn't give them away. I told everyone I know, "Free pine saplings, you dig," but didn't get a single taker. They are practically considered weeds down here by many lot owners on the South Beach, as they grow fast, quickly reclaiming cleared lots or blocking waterfront views.
My dad was always potting up Western Red Cedar seedlings that sprout up in his landscape for me until I told him to stop. Now they just get yanked. I can have him pot up a few and get them next visit and hold them for you. I've got a cedar hedge and a few solitary cedars in my yard that I transplanted and they are doing well.
Avoid transplanting Sitka Spruces into your yard. They have shallow root structures and are prone to blowdown when big, and have a gnarly habit anyway.
I have a row of Noble Firs on my property line that are about 15 years old and doing well...really beautiful trees. I highly recommend them.
Wetline is right about the timing, but successful transplanting can still be done this time of year if done carefully, followed by regular deep watering...don't let the soil around the roots get dried out, but make sure you have adequate drainage. Any landscaping or gardening reference should have all the info you need.
I always have an "idiot stick" with me when working, have plenty of empty tree sized pots, and I know where its O.K. for me to dig up a few pines. I'll pot ya up a few. No problem, as I'll be saving them from certain destruction.
Give me a week or so to round up the pines, and I'll make the call to start saving cedars again.

Your local Conservation District will hold a native tree sale probably every Febuary /March which is cheapest way of getting a good variety of native plants plus some advise on where, when, how, and what to plant for your purpose. I know the Pierce County Conservation District has one every year, I am not sure about the Kitsap Conservation District. Check them out on the internet.
If you are interested in free potted Douglas Firs, I can give you 10 - 100 free trees, if you are willing to drive to Olympia. Just e-mail me at [email protected]. P.s. This offer is to anybody on this board especially if you are willing to plant them along a river.

Mike Etgen

Not Quite A Luddite, But Can See One From Here
New River Mike

This board is amazing...

Wet line (Dave): I'd thought about the timing and figured unless I got some low-risk items (free or very low cost) that I might very well wait until fall. Hadn't thought about about the elevation, but know I'm not too far above sea level here between Port Orchard and Gig Harbor.

Although I haven't sampled the soil, my sense from just looking at the area I'm looking to recover is that it ranges from mediocre to fair, pretty thin, sandy, and rocky in places, and likely on the acidic side.

And I would prefer somewhat larger starts for the same reasons you mentioned, and will also be consulting with some of the local nurseries (of which there are many over here). We've already spoken to one guy.

o clarki: I'd definitely be interested in some of your trees. I'll email you separately. Same to Jimbo - I already owe you an email!

ff4fun - will check the link you provided.

Bill bert - Will read and reply to the PM.

I can't thank you guys enough. My wife and I are very motivated to work long-term to develop a natural, low-maintenance, and wildlife-friendly property and it makes sense to start with the trees. We welcome all the resources we can find! :thumb

(Actually, Job One has been uprooting those [email protected]#$%d Scotch Broom). :rolleyes


AKA Beadhead
Hi Mike

Congrats on the new house. Sounds like you have some land too. Land is good!

I;m not an expert, but from what i know there are not so many pines here on the westside, more cedar, doug fir, western hemlock and sitka spruce. Another resource you might try is the WA native plant society: http://www.wnps.org

Good luck!

Hey Mike--

Call the WAZOO agricultural extention office in your area and get them on it. They handle all the agricultural stuff in my area and I think they are partially funded to do that very thing. They might have some free stuff or know where you could get some.

They speak a rather broken English, typical of the Palouse, but you should be able to understand with a lot of questions. Speak slowly.

When planting, I use a pick and drive it just as deep as I can. Poke the tap root gently with a stick and get it in as deep as it will go and then fill with sand or a light medium. The idea is to get down where the water is. Flood completely on transplant and keep wet. Spray needles with a dessicant and cross your fingers. They don't transplant as well as you might think.

If you dig them, try to get all the soil you can with them and don't break the roots from this soil. Plant in a nice sized hole.

Good luck. If you plant more than a fifty trees, you will win the Bob Lawless Forester of the Year Award. Let me know if you win and I'll call Georgia Pacific for your money.

Bob, the But the thing is, they won't answer my callsx(