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Sierra National Forest Progressive Seedling Program

Ponderosa pine (Wikipedia)

PRATHER – Residents of the Auberry, Tollhouse, and Shaver Lake areas who are interested in planting trees on your own private property, please note: the Sierra National Forest’s High Sierra Ranger District might be able to help.

Since April, the District has been planting trees in areas affected by wildfire and recent bark beetle mortality, but due to road access limitations from winter storm damage, they have a small surplus of primarily white fir and Jeffrey pine seedlings.

As part of their reforestation program, the District has planted ponderosa pine, Jeffrey pine, sugar pine and white fir—more than 250,000 trees in all. What gets planted where depends on the area, elevation, previous and projected stand dynamics.

The District’s Prather office has bare-root one-year-old Jeffrey pine seedlings and containerized one-year-old white fir seedlings available for adoption. These seedlings are excess to district reforestation programs at this point. Persons wishing to adopt seedlings may obtain 5 to 10 seedlings at the district office, in Prather, California. Please call ahead of time to arrange pick up, as seedlings will not be onsite.

The High Sierra Ranger District office, located at 29688 Auberry Road, in Prather, is open seven days a week between 8 am and 4:30 pm. For more information on seedling adoption, please contact Molly Murray at the Prather office at (559) 855-5355.

To minimize moisture and heat stress, seedlings should be transported in an ice chest with the roots covered with a moist towel and planted the same day, when possible. Instructions on how to plant the seedlings will be included during your pick up. These seedlings are meant to be planted on private property.

Seedlings are grown from seeds picked years in advance and stored at Forest Service nurseries. To accomplish reforestation objectives, seedlings must be ordered one to two years in advance of planting. Many of the trees being planted were grown at the Placerville nursery.

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