The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Colonel William F. Fox Memorial Saratoga Tree Nursery has kicked off its annual spring seedling sale, which is open to the public and runs until May 12. Each year, the tree nursery offers for sale dozens of low-cost, New York-grown tree and shrub species to help implement large-scale conservation plantings across the state.

“For more than 100 years, DEC’s tree nursery in Saratoga has grown its stock, creating winter-hardy seedlings that are used for reforestation and other conservation plantings across the state,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos.

There are many environmental, economic, and social reasons to plant trees. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and are a powerful tool in the fight against climate change. Trees also lower heating and cooling costs, provide food and shelter for native wildlife, improve water quality by filtering runoff, prevent erosion, and increase overall health and well-being.

The tree nursery has more than 50 conifer and hardwood species available in bundles of 25 or more, plus several mixed species packets for those looking for a variety. Information, including how to order, is available at the Spring Seedling Sale webpage on DEC’s website.

Applications are now being accepted for the tree nursery’s School Seedling Program. From now until March 31, schools and youth education organizations across New York State may apply to receive up to 50 free tree or shrub seedlings to plant with students.

All schools (public, private, nursery, elementary, secondary, vocational, college, and university) and youth education-based organizations are eligible to apply, provided trees are planted within New York State. Visit DEC’s website for information or to apply online. The Colonel William F. Fox Memorial Saratoga Tree Nursery at nysnursery@dec.ny.gov or 518-581-1439can provide details.