Free pine seedlings still available from Bass Lake Ranger District

The Bass Lake Ranger District is set to begin the 2017 reforestation program. During the next two months, contract and forest service crews will be planting about 235 acres with up to 70,000 seedlings addressing areas impacted by the 2014 French and Courtney Fires. Approximately 250 to 350 seedlings (mixture of ponderosa pine and sugar pine), per acre will be planted.

Foothill residents in the North Fork/Oakhurst/Mariposa area can become participants in the spring planting program by planting ponderosa pine seedlings on their property. The Bass Lake Ranger District North Fork office is planning to have bare root 1-year-old Ponderosa Pine seedlings available for adoption.

These seedlings are excess to district reforestation needs and the amount available for adoption is usually in the low hundreds.

The Bass Lake Ranger District office in North Fork, at 57003 Road 225, is open Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.. For more information on seedling adoption, please contact the North Fork office at (559) 877-2218.

“By extending this seedling planting program across property boundaries, we are assured the proper seed stock is planted in the area forests,” said Mike Nolen of the Bass Lake Ranger District. “There has been a strong public response to this program in the past to add trees or to replace ones that have died, people are passionate about their forest.”

To minimize moisture and heat stress, seedlings should be transported in an ice chest with the roots covered with a moist towel and planted the same day, when possible. Instructions on how to plant the seedlings will be included with your pickup. These seedlings are meant to be planted on private property.

Seedlings are grown from seed picked a number of years in advance by the forest service, and stored at forest service nurseries. In order to accomplish reforestation objectives, seedlings must be ordered one to two years in advance of planting. Many of the trees being planted were grown at the Placerville nursery. The blister rust resistant sugar pine being planted is grown as one year-old containerized stock. These seedlings are grown in tubes measuring about 1 x 6 inches in green houses.

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Sierra National Forest