Trees for all seasons

Is there anything trees can't do?

graphic of a windbreakThey cool us in the summer and shelter us from Minnesota's notorious winter winds. They are home for countless critters and a fighter of global warming. Trees provide nature's perfect raw material. They help keep surface water clean and provide everything from aspirin to the roof over your head. Planting trees is one sure way you can have a positive, long-lasting impact on the environment.

How many trees will I need?

Proper spacing for your trees is critical. Because tree seedlings are small, there is a tendency to plant them too close together. Keep in mind the mature size of the trees you will plant, and space them far enough apart so you can maintain them with your equipment. Please refer to the following table to figure out how many trees you will need.


Shrubs: 6 feet apart in rows
Trees: 10 feet apart in rows with rows 15 feet apart

Wildlife planting

Mixed plantings of shrubs and trees average 10 feet apart in rows and between rows (about 500 seedlings per acre*).

Fiber production

Average spacing of 8 feet apart in rows, and 9 feet between rows (about 700 seedlings per acre).

*An acre is approximately 200 feet by 200 feet

Quality products, quality service

Your State Forest Nursery produces native trees and shrubs grown from local seed sources for conservation purposes. We've been doing it since 1933. Our mission is to produce Minnesota hardy, bareroot seedlings of high quality, reasonably priced for you, the woodland steward. We are dedicated to helping to protect the sustainability of Minnesota's diverse forest resources and the continuance of our state's proud tree planting heritage.

Your satisfaction is our business

Our focus is on your satisfaction with our products. We produce and package only healthy, state-inspected planting stock. If you discover any discrepancies in the number or type of seedlings in your order, let us know by phone or in writing within three days of receipt. Please include your order number with all contacts.

Seedling shortages can be substituted with another species of comparable worth, carried over for next year's shipment, or refunded at the value of the undelivered stock.

Despite our best efforts we cannot control damage to our seedlings from shipment, off-nursery storage and handling, or adverse weather conditions.

Your help in quality control is appreciated! Email reports or questions on the survivability of our stock to the Minnesota State Forest Nursery.

 photo of two peple planting a seedlingThe True Meaning of Life

"The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit."
—Nelson Henderson

The true meaning of Maurice Schwen's life can be seen in the trees he's reared, whose shade he has never enjoyed.

Schwen, a Brainerd tree farmer, found the true meaning of his life when he heard a speaker say, "We are given the opportunity to be stewards of our resources. Stewardship is our responsibility." The seed of stewardship was planted. He returned to his Blue Earth home, planted trees, and began a tradition.

Schwen celebrated his 50th year of planting trees in May. Schwen has planted more than 150,000 trees since then. At 76, he shows no signs of slowing.

"I'm running out of space, Schwen said. "Family members think I've fulfilled my stewardship responsibility. The want me to slow down, but planting trees is my motivation."

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