Seedling Program

About Our Partnership with the USFS

Reforestation is the establishment of trees on sites that formerly supported them. Reforestation programs are a major part of forestry and conservation that yield better air and water quality, enhanced wildlife habitat, greater biodiversity and ecosystem sustainability, healthier forests, reduced soil erosion, and increased timber production.

There are many thousands of acres of former forest in California that have been deforested due to wildfire, insect attacks, and disease. However, one of the main constraints of reforestation is the availability of suitable planting stock. There are several nurseries that sell seedlings but they may not have the capacity to meet the needs of landowners.

In 2014, the RCD entered into an agreement with the US Forest Service’s Placerville Nursery to grow seedlings ordered through the RCD by landowners to be used for establishing forests, woodlots, windbreaks and wildlife areas throughout the state of California.

The Placerville Nursery has a capacity to grow several million seedlings each year. The seeds are sourced from native or approved seed sources and grown according to stringent quality control standards. As a land manager, you can order seedlings through the RCD for your project.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When do I need to place an order by?
    • Orders should be placed for the following year, as seedlings will be grown to order. Sowing orders must be placed before December 31. The Forest Service sows seeds in late Winter and then packs those seedlings for clients the following Winter/Spring
    • If you reach out to the RCD after the deadline, we’ll do our best to fulfill your order but cannot guarantee we’ll be able to fulfill your order as we’ll only be able to pull from the Forest Service’s surplus seedlings.
  • What kind of seedlings are available?
    • Douglas Fir
    • Incense Cedar
    • Jeffrey Pine
    • Ponderosa Pine
    • Sierra Redwood
    • Sugar Pine
    • White Fir
  • Do I have to pay when I submit my order?
    • Cost-share programs (such as One Tree Planted) may be available to you.
  • Where is the USFS Nursery located?
    • 2375 Fruitridge Rd, Camino Ca 95709
  • How are my seedlings stored?
    • Once the USFS packs the seedlings, they are stored in a refrigerator at 35 F until you are ready for them.
  • When should I expect to receive my seedling order?
    • The Forest Service starts packing seedlings in late December and continues through Spring. Our goal is to distribute seedlings before April