What is a bareroot seedling?

A bareroot seedling is exactly what you’re probably suspecting – shipped without soil, its roots are bare to the world. Grown outside in the ground instead of containers, we dig them up shortly before shipping while they’re in a period of winter dormancy.

What size are the container seedlings?

Depending on the species, seedlings measure about 12-18 inches tall when shipped.

Why can't I get my seedlings now?

We’re just as eager to get you your seedlings as you are to receive them, but they must first enter a period of dormancy (which only occurs in the winter) before they are ready to be shipped. Plus, late winter is a much better time to plant, both for the tree and for you, than the middle of the summer.

When will I receive my seedlings?

Generally, we ship from February to April, during the seedling dormancy period (check out the last answer for more information). You’ll get an email about a week before your seedlings are scheduled to ship, so you can be looking for them.

Will you ship my seedlings to me or do I need to pick them up?

With a little help from FedEx, we can deliver your seedlings straight to your doorstep, as long as you live within the continental U.S. If you live around the Lubbock area (or just want to come say hi), feel free to pick them up yourself. We typically set aside a week in mid-March for local pickups. Reach out at wtn@tfs.tamu.edu for more information.

How will my seedlings be packaged for shipping?

Here’s the nitty gritty: Bareroot seedlings are tightly wrapped in bags with a special gel-like material that retains moisture, while container seedlings are loosely placed in paper bags to prevent shifting. Then, we carefully pack them in a shipping box and send them your way.

My seedlings arrived, now what?

Once your trees show up, the next step is to get them planted. If you can't plant them right away, store them someplace cool, like a garage or basement. For bareroot seedlings, keep the bundles closed up until you're ready to plant them. For container seedlings, open the boxes so they can breathe a bit and check the soil every couple of days. If it seems like they are getting dry, go ahead and give them a little drink of water. Be sure to check out our detailed Seedling Planting Instructions for all the specifics about getting your baby trees into the ground.

Why are some trees or shrubs offered for sale one year then not the next year?

Plants are fickle creatures. Seed quality can differ from year to year – say, if environmental factors were unkind – and we want to offer only the best. Additionally, species produce good seed crops at different rates – some do annually, while it’s every few years for others.

How often do I need to water my seedlings after planting?

For newly planted seedlings, a good rule of thumb is 10 gallons a week for every inch in stem diameter. Fewer but longer waterings are better than more frequent, lighter ones. Keep this up for two years until the tree is well-established.

I am interested in pine seedlings to be planted in East Texas. Where can I find those?

Sadly, we do not currently offer East Texas pine seedlings. Lucky for you though, we made a list of suppliers who may be able to help out.

Who can I contact if I have questions about what trees are best suited for my part of the state?

The Texas A&M Forest Service employs friendly folk all across the state who are more than happy to answer any questions you have. Visit the Contact Us page to find your local forester, then shoot them an email or give them a call.