NH State Forest Nursery branches out, begins online sales
After 112 years of growing tree and shrub seedlings, the N.H. State Forest Nursery has begun taking orders via its new online store. More than 1,000 customers used it to purchase 150,000 seedlings within the first two weeks of its debut.
The new website, buynhseedlings.com, has a similar feel and appearance to the Nursery’s traditional print catalog, but also has many additional features, including multiple color images of each seedling and a live inventory that allows customers to see the availability of each species and product in real-time.
“Sales at the N.H. State Forest Nursery have increased dramatically over the last several years,” said N.H. Division of Forests and Lands’ Chief of Forest Management, Will Guinn. “Much of this is due to a renewed interest in the outdoors as a result of the pandemic, as well as a desire to help mitigate climate change through planting trees to sequester and store carbon.”
For the past decade, the nursery received approximately 1,000 orders per year, a number that increased to more than 2,500 orders in 2022. Customers range from organizations doing major reforestation projects to tree farmers to individuals with small landscaping projects.
“By taking our ordering system online, we’re better able to serve this influx of customers,” said Guinn. “Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with almost 95 percent choosing to use the online system.”
The nursery does still offer a paper order form that can be filled out and mailed in, but it expects to slowly transition away from that option as people learn more about the online service.
Customers visiting buynhseedlings.com can shop by category – conifer, hardwood and shrub species, as well as specialty packages – and can also search for specific species. As with most internet sales sites, when customers are ready to complete their purchase, they check out using an online shopping cart, fill out billing information and select either the shipping or pick-up option to complete the transaction.
More than 50 species of bare-root seedlings are offered for sale; all are grown from seed on site at the nursery, which is located within the 880-acre state forest in Boscawen. The nursery has 16 acres of irrigated, outdoor seedbeds and 20 acres dedicated to seed orchards and testing areas, helping to ensure the seedlings it grows are well adapted to the regional climate and conditions.
While commonly known conifer and deciduous tree species like balsam fir and red oak are available, less well-known names, like white spruce and black walnut, and a variety of shrubs, including American hazelnut and ninebark, can also be purchased.
The nursery also sells several specialty packages which contain 25 seedlings, consisting of five seedlings of five different species. Specialty packages are designed to help meet the needs of specific projects or management objectives, and include a Christmas tree sampler package, a pollinator package, a wetlands package and many others.
For more information about New Hampshire’s State Forest Nursery and to find a direct link to the online store, visit nh.gov/nhnursery.
Established in 1910, the N.H. State Forest Nursery’s mission is to grow and distribute quality, bare-root seedlings for forestry, conservation and education purposes. The Nursery facility and program are administered by the N.H. Division of Forests and Lands, which is part of the N.H. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. For more information about the N.H. Division of Forests and Lands, visit nh.gov/nhdfl.