The Montana Conservation Seedling Nursery
The Montana Conservation Seedling Nursery is a service of the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Forestry Division. Our mission is to produce the highest quality, locally adapted source identified seedlings for use in conservation practices in Montana.
We produce more than a million seedlings each year for any individual or group implementing conservation practices. This includes Private Landowners, Conservation Districts, State and Federal Agencies, Tribal Agencies, Conservation Groups and Organizations, and the Forest Industry.
We work closely with County Conservation Districts, Montana State University Extension Service offices, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service to assist Montana landowners in implementing conservation planting programs.
Our seedlings are used for Windbreaks and Shelterbelts, Reforestation or Revegetation after fire or other disturbances, Wildlife Habitat, Fisheries Improvement, Erosion Control, Noise and Visual Barriers, Living Snowfences, and any other accepted conservation practice.
We continuously seek to improve our nursery stock, and regularly update our selection of species and varieties to reflect changing conservation requirements and as new and improved varieties are developed.
We produce two basic types of seedlings: bareroot and containerized. Bareroot seedlings are one to three years old and shipped in bundles of 50 with no soil on the roots. Most deciduous plants are grown bareroot and perform well across the state.
Containerized seedlings are started in small pots and most are shipped in lots of 25 plugs with the containers removed. In most areas of Montana evergreen species survive best as containerized seedlings.
Nursery Program activities include:
•Establishment and maintenance of Montana adapted seed orchards at the nursery site to insure long-term availability of these plant materials.
•Currently producing 75 species of trees, shrubs, and grasses from 149 seed sources
•Bareroot seedling production of 350,000 seedlings annually, capacity to produce 1.5 million bareroot seedlings annually.
•Containerized seedling production of 780,000 seedlings annually
•Contract growing for large conservation projects with our seed or yours
•Seed collection and cleaning
•Production of educational materials on conservation related topics for Montana landowners.
•Work closely with the NRCS and Bridger Plant Materials Center to develop plants adapted to Montana.