Oregon Dept. of Forestry Gives Grants to Five Marion County Tree Nurseries to Boost Capacity

Posted on February 7, 2023

SALEM, Ore. – Five  tree nurseries in Marion County are among 10 across the state receiving a total of $4.4 million this year to help them increase their ability to produce badly needed seedlings. The seedlings are needed to help reforest millions of acres deforested in recent years by wildfire, disease and pests.

The money was given to ODF after passage by the Oregon Legislature in 2021 of House Bill 5006. The bill was a response to the devastating 2020 wildfires which burned a million acres of forest. In the wake of those fires, there was often a shortage of money to reforest and workers to plant seedlings. But a

ODF Small Forestland Owner Assistance Unit Manager Nate Agalzoff said, “These grants are helping nurseries make strategic investments to increase their ability to grow more seedlings, which will enable them to better support reforestation needs in the future.”

Brooks Tree Farm in Salem $540,000 and Drakes Crossing Nursery in Silverton are each getting $540,000

PRT Growing Services, which has nurseries in Hubbard and Cottage Grove, is also getting $540,000. Weyerhaeuser, which has tree nurseries in Aurora and Turner, is receiving $500,000. Champoeg Nursery in Aurora is getting $458,000.

Nurseries are using the funds to invest in everything from adding irrigation to building new greenhouses and seedbed space as well as storage facilities for storing seedling trees. Funds can also go toward:

  • equipment
  • the cost of collecting or purchasing tree seeds,
  • buying land on which to expand nursery facilities.

“While adding capacity doesn’t ensure nurseries will grow more seedlings specifically for post-wildfire reforestation, it adds overall capacity across the state for whenever seedling demand rises,” said ODF Reforestation Program Project Coordinator Astrea Strawn.

Strawn said funds must be spent before the end of this summer.

“This makes us optimistic that landowners, especially smaller ones, will have better access to seedlings. When they do, they can promptly reforest after future tree losses to keep Oregon’s working forests working for Oregonians,” she said.

To qualify for a grant, a nursery had to have experience growing high-quality commercial conifer trees for reforestation in Oregon, including Douglas-fir, grand fir, noble fir, western redcedar, ponderosa pine and others.

“The awards were targeted to nurseries which showed interest in helping with future reforestation needs, whether from wildfires or climate change losses,” said Strawn.

Other nurseries which received funds include:

  • Trillium Gardens – Eugene in Lane County $531,000
  • Lava Nursery, Inc. – Parkdale in Hood County $458,000
  • Scholls Valley Native Nursery – Forest Grove in Washington County $367,000
  • The Plantworks, LLC – Cove in Union County $276,000
  • Kintigh Nursery – Springfield in Lane County $238,000

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