Nursery Info

Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources (RNGR)


  • Mission: “To supply people who grow forest and conservation seedlings with the very latest technical information.”
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There is a surprising wrinkle in the quest to plant 68 billion trees

  • “Around 133 million acres of land that were once covered in forest are available to be reforested now; on that land, there’s room for 68 billion trees.” (In the U.S)
  • “Right now, nurseries grow around 1.3 billion seedlings a year. To dramatically scale up reforestation, they’d need to grow 3 billion a year.
  • “But a new study points out an important bottleneck: right now, we don’t have enough seedlings to plant. To meet even half of the country’s potential for reforestation, nurseries would have to more than double their current production.”
  • “The challenge starts with collecting seeds. “There are just very few people who know how to do this,” says Austin Rempel, forest restoration manager at the nonprofit American Forests, which worked on the new study with The Nature Conservancy and several other partners. In many states, he says, there might be three or four people with the right skills. “It’s really hard to find people who are still collecting seed. Since it’s so competitive, no one’s really willing to even give you the phone number of their seed collectors, because they want that person working for them. And then the seed collectors don’t want to reveal where their seed trees are, because someone will come and steal them.”
  • “Where I am, in Colorado, I talked to a seed collector whose entire job is going around and collecting seeds from places where squirrels have hidden them.”
  • “One thing we heard from all these nurseries is, yes, we can scale up, but we need to have some certainty that this tree craze isn’t going to end after next year,” Rempel says. In the past, he says, there were around 40 nurseries growing trees for the Forest Service alone. Now there are six. But that can change, and new nurseries can be launched around the country to help grow local species. As the system grows, it can create a meaningful number of jobs; the report says that each $1 million invested in rural reforestation can employ 40 people.”