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Tree Sale

About Our Tree Sale

Every year, the Isabella Conservation District provides affordable transplant and seedling varieties to the Isabella County community. The Annual Tree Sale includes deciduous and coniferous trees, shrubs and pollinator mixes, as well as other helpful planting items and resources. The Annual Tree Sale serves to help fulfill the District's mission to preserve natural resources in Isabella County, and encourages local landowners to plant trees and other plants in order to:

  • Increase overall green space.

  • Adopt beneficial conservation practices.

  • Provide habitat for native wildlife and pollinators.

  • Enhance the beauty and aesthetics of natural landscapes.

The District accepts orders for the Annual Tree Sale every spring; orders are typically distributed in April - May. Many different selections of species are available, and the District provides discounts for orders of large quantities. 

Orders can be made by mail or on the online Tree Sale store. To view the District's current Annual Tree Sale selection, visit the link below:


Benefits of Planting Trees

Cut soil erosion: Rows of trees break the wind on flatter lands and healthy forests protect soil from water erosion on hillsides.


Improve air and water quality: A forest floor of leaves and decaying wood acts as a giant sponge by absorbing, filtering, and holding water; one acre of trees provides fresh, clean oxygen for seven people and will clean the air polluted by eight cars operated for 12 hours.


Increase income: Properly managed trees can provide excellent sources of income, such as the sale of trees or wood products.


Save energy: Studies have shown that windbreaks can reduce winter fuel consumption by 10 to 30 percent.  Trees also save energy by shading; one tree has the cooling effect of five air conditioners.


Protect livestock: Trees reduce the wind and can significantly reduce animal stress.  Livestock not only need less feed, but their gains are higher.  Shade provided by trees is also helpful to animals on very

hot summer days.


Sound barriers: Trees and windbreaks reduce noise from high-speed traffic and other sounds.  Plant leaves, branches, and twigs all absorb sounds of different frequencies.


Home for wildlife: Wooded areas make valuable cover, nesting, and breeding areas for upland game and songbirds.  In winter, when all other food is blanketed with snow, seeds and fruits of trees and shrubs provide food for non-migratory species. 


Living snow fence: In snow country, properly planting a living fence of trees and shrubs parallel to your driveway or highway helps hold snow on the fields and off the roads.


Improve crop yields: Soil particles blown by strong winds frequently damage small crops.  Yields also may be lowered by the effects of hot winds.  Trees protect against these hazards.


Beautify the countryside: Well-kept wooded areas, windbreaks and other tree plantings undeniably enhance the aesthetic value of individual farms and the countryside.

Planting Tips

Before You Plant:


Site preparation may be needed to reduce weed competition or stabilize an area. This may include furrowing or spraying, depending on the area.  Weed competition is the number one factor leading to the death of a seedling.  Remember that different trees have different site requirements; match the tree to the site. Determine the number of trees for the site before you order. If you plan to use an herbicide for weed control, please contact your local MSU Extension Office for spray recommendations.  

Orders can be made by mail or on the online Tree Sale store. 

When You Plant: 

Trees and shrubs may be planted with a tree planter or by hand using a planting bar, shovel, or other planting tools.  They should be planted in a vertical position with the root collars about one inch below the surface. Make sure the trench or hole is deep and wide enough to allow the roots to spread in a natural, uncurled position. The District has a tree planter available to rent - visit our Equipment Rental page to learn more about this resource.

After You Plant: 

Check survival the first and second year and replant where necessary. Try to control weed competition and grasses either by tillage and/or herbicides.  Prune hardwoods to produce straight stem and begin shearing Christmas trees after the third year. Watch for attacks by insects and diseases in the spring and consult a forester if damage is evident.

Seedling Care Tips

  • Avoid planting when the ground is hard, frozen, dry, or when excessively wet.

  • Allow frozen seedlings to thaw naturally in bundles before attempting to separate.

  • Seedlings should be carried in containers or bags to protect the roots from exposure to sun and air.

  • Plant seedlings immediately once removed the container or bag.

  • When machine planting check furrow depth or hand planting check the hole depth to provide space for roots.

  • To check firmness of the soil packing, grasp the tips of the seedling and pull upward, if the tree pulls out of the ground, it was not firmly packed.

  • Do not place seedlings in a bucket of water.  This will remove soil or planting jell particles which will speed up drying out of the roots.  Some trees or shrubs cannot tolerate being submerged for long periods of time directly in water.

  • If trees cannot be planted immediately after picking them up, if possible, place in cold storage.  Dormant seedlings can be kept at 32-40 degrees with high humidity for up to 10 weeks.

  • Make sure bags do not have holes to prevent the roots from drying out.

  • Water uncovered bare-root seedlings when you get them and every other day thereafter.  Do not water roots that have a moisture retentive material.  This will remove the protective coating.

  • Store in areas protected from the sun, wind, and freezing temperatures.

  • Stack bundles loosely (not more than three deep) and use spacers between bundles to permit adequate ventilation.

  • Seedlings kept without cold storage should be planted within three weeks.

  • If unable to plant all seedlings, dig a hole on a slant, plant seedlings and cover with soil.  If they are there for a long period of time, it may be best to wait until fall when everything is dormant to plant them.

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