News from the DNR Office of Communications

DNR Online Tree Nursery Now Open

Annapolis, Md. (October 4, 2010) — The John S. Ayton State Forest Tree Nursery opened today to begin accepting orders of seedlings. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) began online seedling sales in 2006 and the business has continued to grow, selling tens of thousands of seedlings last year online and more than three million seedlings in total. Marylanders may visit the nursery online at

“This year, we’ve increased the number of species that are offered to provide more diversity to our customers,” said Nursery Manager Richard Garrett.

The nursery will continue to sell hardwood seedlings in units of 25; however, lots of 100 or more per species must continue to be ordered in units of 100. Conifers may be ordered in any multiple of 50. Wye Oak descendants are also available.Trees obtained from the John S. Ayton State Forest Tree Nursery are available for conservation purposes defined as: Watershed Protection, Wildlife Habitat, Christmas
Trees, Forest Products, Soil Protection, Buffer Planting and Windbreak Protection.

Seedlings purchased from the State Nursery cannot be used for landscaping or ornamental purposes. The Forest Service, however, fully recognizes the benefits that trees provide in terms of beautification, privacy screening and enhancing architectural design. Homeowners and businesses are encouraged to patronize their local private nursery, garden center or landscape contractor. These professionals can assist citizens in choosing proper trees, shrubs, flowers and maintenance supplies to meet landscaping needs.

Landowners who purchases seedlings from the John S. Ayton Nursery agree to the following:

  • That all seedlings and shrubs so purchased shall be planted in Maryland or Delaware for conservation purposes;
  • That a planting report be furnished when requested by DNR;
  • That the planting be protected as much as possible from fire, grazing and trespass; and
  • That trees may not be offered for sale with roots attached for removal from the land as live or ornamental trees.

Use of the online catalog eliminates postage charges and provides efficient order confirmations, planting instructions, shipping notices and receipts. To contact a nursery directly, call 1-800-873-3763.

DNR also encourages private citizens who would like to plant trees to save $25 off the purchase of a $50 tree through the Marylanders Plant Trees Program. Coupons are redeemable at 70 participating nurseries across the State. For more information, visit

   October 4, 2010

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at