Webster Forest Nursery
Growing Seedlings…. Trees for Tomorrow
In 1958, our L.T. Mike Webster Forest Nursery was established on 80 acres of loamy soil just south of Olympia, Washington. The nursery was named after Webster, then Supervisor of the new state Department of Natural Resources.
Today, Webster nursery consists of 270 acres of bareroot ground and 72,000 square feet of greenhouses. The nursery program is completely self-funded.
Webster Nursery produces between 8 million and 10 million seedlings annually to be planted after timber harvests on DNR-managed state trust lands statewide.
Between 3 million and 5 million seedlings can be purchased by small private land owners to help them meet the replanting requirements of the State Forest Practices Act. We sell seedlings of several species and stock types. Seedlings are sold in bundles of 100, starting the first business day in September. Be sure to check our seedling availability before ordering, as it changes frequently.
How to Order Seedlings
Our tree seedlings are grown to meet the conditions in the different zones in the state (weather, soil types, etc). Seeds are gathered from around the state — from forests high in the Cascades, from wooded cliffs over the Pacific Ocean, from nature preserves on Rattlesnake Ridge and from high alpine areas of the Ahtanum. These seeds are then sown in the nursery beds or in the greenhouse. With hand weeding and the latest in transplant techniques, all are nurtured to hardy seedlings that will have the best chance of survival in the wild.
In December, the dormant seedlings are lifted from nursery beds, hand sorted to assure top quality, packaged and placed in cold storage to await shipment. Each seedling is to be planted where it will grow best - in the forest zone where its seed was collected. The publication, Washington Tree Seed Transfer Zones, provides more details.
If you are unsure which seedlings are best for which areas, contact a Stewardship Forester, who can visit your site to answer questions and offer suggestions. We have also written guidance on caring for your seedlings so they will grow and thrive.
Planting Forest Seedlings Brochure - (1,372 KB PDF)
Webster Nursery is staffed with individuals with years of nursery experience. Please feel free to call any of them to answer questions concerning your seedlings needs.