Game Commission suspends seedling sales

Tree and shrub seedlings from the state Game Commission’s Howard Nursery will not be offered for sale to the public in 2018 due to drastically low inventories.

Seedlings will continue to be supplied to participants in the Seedlings for Schools Program, as well as to landowners who open their lands to public hunting through the Game Commission’s Hunter Access Program, but there are too few seedlings to offer for public sale.

The Game Commission hopes to resume seedling sales to the public in 2019.

The existing seedling shortage is due to germination failure in a couple of conifer species.

The Game Commission’s annual seedling sale — a way to benefit wildlife statewide by improving habitat — has been popular with the public. Sales typically open in mid-January, and the variety of seedling offered varies from year to year.

Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans acknowledged many will be disappointed with the suspension of seedling sales to the public, but staff is working to build inventory in hopes the existing shortage will result only in a one-year layoff.

“And in 2018, Pennsylvania’s state game lands as well as the Seedlings for Schools and Hunter Access programs will continue to receive seedlings that make for better wildlife habitat statewide,” Burhans said.