Welcome to the John S. Ayton State Tree Nursery

Photo of the fields at the nursery and Forest Service logo.
We produce millions of tree and shrub seedlings each year for reforestation and other plantings across Maryland and Delaware. We’ve been in the tree business for over 100 years, with our first nursery established at College Park in the early 1900’s. We are now located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore near the town of Preston and look forward to furnishing planting stock for many years to come.


Growing seedlings requires attention to nature’s schedule. Seed is harvested during late summer and the fall. Planting occurs during the fall and spring. We harvest and ship seedlings from late February to early May. All spring and summer we are watering, fertilizing and weeding the seedlings. It’s a never ending cycle of renewal that results in healthy, vigorous seedlings being planted across the state.

Whether you want to reforest timberland or create a windbreak, improve wildlife habitat or just enjoy the feeling of planting trees, we hope we can serve you.

Richard Garrett
Nursery Manager

Order Seedlings Online Now

The John S. Ayton State Tree Nursey is ready to take seedling orders for the 2015 planting season. Please click here to go to the online catalog to purchase your seedlings.

From the online catalog, choose from "Conifers" or "Deciduous" - Then click on the species name to add to your shopping bag.

Remember that all orders are first come fist serve so please get your order in today!

Ninety percent of Marylandís forest land is owned by private woodland owners. Forest land is one of our greatest natural resources and if taken care of, can offer long term benefits for everyone. With these thoughts in mind we offer again this year many seedlings to assist landowners in their afforestation or reforestation projects. We hope that within these pages you will find the right options for your land and your objectives for that land.

Nursery Links

Nursery Customer Service Survey

"Your prices and quality of seedlings is outstanding and your customer service is so good it is hard to believe you are a government agency."

Growing Trees for the Future

History of the Nursery

Seed Collection:
Contact Richard Garrett, Ayton Nursery Manager at (410) 673-2467
Potomac Conservancy/Growing Native

John S. Ayton State Tree Nursery Photo Tour

John S. Ayton Tree Nursery

More Information

Stream ReLeaf - Planting Maryland's Streamsides

Marylanders Plant Trees

How to Plant Your Seedlings