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Spring Tree Sale 2019

Welcome to the Franklin County Conservation District’s annual spring tree sale! The sale is by pre-order only and most items are sold bare-root.

As of April 25, 2019 we are no longer accepting pre-orders for this year’s sale. You are welcome to swing by our pick-up day and see if we have any extras for purchase!

Pick-up day: Saturday May 4, 2019, 8:30am-1:30pm, Franklin County Field Days grounds – 294 Airport Rd., Highgate, VT

It’s still winter, but spring is just around the corner! Our early-bird pricing ended February 28th, but there are still plenty of great trees, shrubs and berries to choose from at great prices. Plus this sale is a fundraiser for conservation programs such as camp scholarships, property walks, and workshops. Read on to learn about discounts, related events, and our new offerings including hops and mushroom spawn.

As always, feel free to stop by the office or give a call (802-528-4176) with any questions. We look forward to seeing you and your trees!

Pick-up details

Pick-up will be from 8:30am – 1:30pm on Saturday, May 4th at the Franklin County Field Days (294 Airport Rd., Highgate, VT). This year the Montgomery Conservation Commission is also offering a pickup option in Montgomery (see below.) Any orders not picked up as arranged will be forfeited; if you cannot make the pick-up time please make arrangements with a friend or neighbor.

When you come to pick up your trees this year, plan to stay and learn! At tree sale pickup this year we will have:

  • a plant swap
  • tree planting and care demonstrations and information
  • a sandbox-style, dynamic stream model
  • a “rainfall simulator” showing rain’s erosive power on different soil, crop and lawn types
  • farm equipment
  • tree protectors, fertilizer pellets, and a limited amount of additional native trees and plants for sale

Thanks to the Missisquoi River Basin Association, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Franklin & Grand Isle Farmers’ Watershed Alliance, and UVM Sea Grant for making this day a festival of learning!

Montgomery Pick-up Option for Tree Sale

The Montgomery Conservation Commission is again offering a satellite pick-up location for our spring tree sale. Simply write clearly “Montgomery pickup” on your order, and the Conservation Commission will bring it to the Public Safety building at 86 Mountain Rd., Montgomery Center for pickup between 11:30am-2:30pm on Saturday, May 4th. All other orders will be at the Field Days on Airport Rd in Highgate, as usual.

Related Events

Montgomery to host tree and shrub talk from Charlie Nardozzi


March 18, 2019 –  5:30pm, Montgomery Center Town Hall (Grange), 326-6728

Wondering how to get the most benefit from the trees and shrubs of your yard and garden? Nationally recognized garden writer, radio and TV host, and frequent guest on VPR Charlie Nardozzi will cure your spring fever with tips for gardening with trees and shrubs. Hosted by the Montgomery Conservation Commission. RSVPs appreciated to 326-6728.

Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop

March 23, 2019 – 10am-12pm, three minutes from Bakersfield Center. $10.

Learn and practice caring for your trees under the guidance of long-time fruit-grower and nursery owner John Hayden. John will guide participants through selection, care and sharpening of tools; training young trees for long-term health; pruning for pest management and fruit production; and reclaiming abandoned orchards. Participants will then work in teams to try reinvigorating neglected apple trees! Hot drinks provided. Call Jeannie at 528-4176 or email to register.

Volunteer and receive up to 20% off your order

Our tree sale relies on a dedicated team of volunteers. The day of the sale volunteers retrieve orders for customers, track inventory, manage our table of educational materials, clean the barn, and more. We also need help pre-bagging orders in the week before the sale. Volunteers receive 20% off their order! We are also looking for volunteers any time of year to serve on the Board, glean produce from farms, monitor water quality in streams, or plant trees. To volunteer, call 802-528-4176 or email Thank you!

Free trees available for restoration projects

If you are interested in planting 50 or more trees and shrubs, you may be eligible for free or discounted trees!

Planting trees alongside streams is one of the most important things we need to do to restore fishable, swimmable waters in Franklin County, so there are a number of funding sources the District can help you access to do that. Stream-side tree plantings provide shade that cools the stream’s water temperature, reduce streambank erosion, provide wildlife habitat on the banks, and allow the stream to access its floodplains.

Stream-side aren’t the only areas that may be eligible for free trees. If you are interested in planting windbreaks, shade trees for livestock, wetland restorations, agroforestry projects, or other medium- to large-scale plantings contact the District. Routine Christmas tree plantings are generally not eligible.

Depending on your site, you may be eligible for free trees, site design, installation, and possibly even payments to you as the landowner! Call 528-4176 or email Jeannie to learn more.

NEW offerings - Hops and Mushrooms

Hops – take your home-brew to the next level!

Like a good hoppy ale? We’re selling a cold-hardy hops variety that comes at the recommendation of Julian Post, farm manager at Champlain Valley Hops and former Crops Technician at UVM Extension.

Hops is a perennial bine that bears cones in its second year and continues to fruit for 25 years or more if properly cared for. Hops is the primary ingredient that gives ales their citrusy flavors and bitterness, and the variety we offer grows successfully at UVM’s research farm in Alburgh and at commercial hopyards across the state. Hops bines grow over 20 ft tall, so be prepared to trellis them on a south-facing building, arbor, or trellis. We’re selling them in bundles of five rhizomes, which should be planted together as one plant.

To learn more about growing hops, attend Julian’s presentation at the NOFA-VT conference February 17, attend the annual Vermont Hops Conference February 21, or contact UVM Extension’s hops specialist John Bruce at 524-6501.

Grow Your Own Mushrooms and Build Soil

Part of what gives mushrooms their rich flavors is the high concentration of important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants they contain. And, with a little care, you can grow your own! Mushrooms also build fungal networks in the soil that can improve neighboring plants’ access to vital nutrients. This year we’re offering spawn for shiitake mushrooms, which are grown on logs, and wine cap mushrooms, which are grown in woodchip mulch. Wine caps grow well under raspberries, in garden borders, or other areas you might mulch anyway. Read our catalog description or contact us by email or at 528-4176 for more information on growing mushrooms.

2019 Featured Shrubs for Pollinators - $6!

Butterflies love native Buttonbush


Buttonbush for Butterflies

adapted from a blog post by Justin Wheeler for the Xerces Society,

Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) has one of the most unique flowers of any shrub, and butterflies think so too. Skippers, monarchs, and virtually any butterflies that happen to be passing by love the white flowers. In addition to its appeal for butterflies, buttonbush also serves as a host plant for some of our largest and showiest moths including the titan sphinx (Aellopos titan) and the hydrangea sphinx (Darapsa versicolor). Bees also love buttonbush, giving it the second nickname “honeyball.”Buttonbush's white, pincushion-like flowers turn into crimson spheres in fall and winter.

Towards fall, flowers develop into button-like seed heads and the leaves turn deep reds and yellows. The “buttons” turn a deep crimson as they linger in the winter landscape. Ducks and other waterfowl also eat the seed heads.

Between the showy blooms, glossy green leaves, fall color, and red “buttons,” buttonbush is a 4-season beauty. It can tolerate shade and a variety of soils, and it thrives in wet spots and flooded areas. You’d be hard pressed to find a more valuable or versatile native shrub.

Buttonbush thrives in a variety of soils, including areas with frequent flooding!Buttonbush’s natural tendency is towards a leggy, gangly shape – however, it can take heavy pruning to give it a more rounded habit or to train it into an upright specimen. If you want a dense, rounded shrub you could plant three buttonbush close together to provide a fuller appearance.




Awesome Aronia adapted from “Aronia: Native shrubs with untapped potential,” by Mark Brand for U. Conn.

The genus Aronia is a group of largely overlooked shrubs native to the eastern United States that has tremendous potential for use as ornamental landscape plants and as an edible fruit crop. One thing that has held back consumer acceptance of Aronia is the unfortunate common name “chokeberry.” Its name is also often confused with chokecherry (Prunus virginiana).

Aronia melanocarpa "Black chokeberry"

Black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) is rapidly gaining momentum as a new small fruit crop. The blueberry-sized black fruits have the highest known levels of antioxidants (anthocyanins and flavonoids) of any temperate fruit, five times higher than cranberry and blueberry, and contain strong anticancer compounds. While edible as a fresh fruit, Aronia berries are much tastier when the fruits have been processed. It has been widely grown in Eastern Europe and Russia where it is used in beverages, wine, jelly, and baked goods. Preliminary work in Iowa, Oregon, Wisconsin, and Nebraska has demonstrated the viability of Aronia as a fruit crop in many regions, including New England.

Aronia melanocarpa attains a mature height of 4 to 8 feet and forms dense plants and colonies, rarely appearing leggy. Plants can be grown successfully in partial shade or full sun, but better flowering, fruiting, and fall color occur in full sun situations.

Aronia makes a beautiful, dense shrub with white flowersTransplanting and establishment are easy with chokeberries even when they are given only modest care. Insects and diseases rarely affect the plant, so it is considered relatively carefree. Plant Aronia for an easy, beautiful piece of habitat for birds and insects, and for your own health!


Bulk discounts

We love to see you planting trees, so we will discount your order by 10% if you purchase 25 or more trees (excluding bundled conifers.) They don’t have to all go on your land – buy some for your neighbor, or your mother! Mother’s Day is just a week after the tree sale! To apply your bulk discount please pay by check – unfortunately our online system cannot process discounts. If you’re interested in planting more than 50 trees on your property you may be eligible for free trees through our restoration programs. See above!

History of the Franklin County Tree Sale

The Franklin County Natural Resources Conservation District has been holding a spring tree sale at least as long as our Board can remember – and that goes back to 1978! The primary goal is to make native trees and backyard fruit trees affordable and accessible in our community, and it is also a fundraiser for our conservation programs and education. We are proud to source almost exclusively from Vermont and New York, with only occasional gaps filled by growers in other regions. This ensures the trees we sell you will be appropriate for our climate, and supports our local land-based economy. In 2018 we sold 5,300 stems of 46 different species to over 150 customers. Thank you for your support. We look forward to seeing you and your trees this year!



See full descriptions of all the trees, shrubs, and wildflower seed mixes we offer.



Planting Tips & Info

Make sure you’re ready for your trees and berries with both general and species-specific planting and care information.