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Western Sources of Bareroot Seedlings

by Brent Walston


Bareroot seedlings are available from a number of sources in the winter months. This is a great way to obtain a larger number of plants at very reasonable prices. These are field grown dormant deciduous and evergreen plants. They are dug from the earth, the soil washed from the roots and bundled in units of 25 or 100 depending on the size and age. They need special treatment for bonsai since you usually get a long tap root and little else. For information on how to handle these seedlings after you get them see the article on root pruning bareroot seedlings.

Buying Wholesale Mail Order

First, the most economical way to get such trees is through a wholesaler by mail (UPS). There is little a mystique to buying trees this way like there is trying to buy other stuff wholesale when you are not a retailer. Mail order nurseries don't care that much who you are as long as you are not in the same state and are trying to avoid paying sales tax.

There are , however some general rules of which you should be aware:


For bareroot seedlings there are very few nurseries that will sell less than 100 plants of a single species. This means you will probably have to round up your friends and club members and put in a group order. Don't embarass yourself by ordering less than $100 worth of stuff even if you don't see a minimum amount in their catalog, These people are used to thousand dollar orders, but are usually glad to get small ones as well, but not tiny ones.


Timing is very important. Bareroot season is limited, and most buyers post their orders in the fall for spring. Get to work right away and you may be still be able to get some plants now if they are not sold out, it happens a lot.


These are reputable companies that I have dealt with and have no trouble accepting relatively small orders.

Heritage Seedlings
4199 75th Av SE
Salem OR 97301
503 585 9835. Seedlings of unusual deciduous species, some conifers, bareroot and plugs, excellent quality and good prices.

Lawyer Nursery
950 Highwary 200 West

Plains Montana 59859
406 826 3881. Bareroot seedling of conifers, deciduous trees and shrubs. Their quality is good, but they are expensive compared to the others and I have been short counted several times, so check your order carefully.

Meadow Lake Nursery
PO Box 1302
McMinnville OR 97128
503 852 7525. Seedling conifers and deciduous trees and shrubs. A bit expensive, but size and quality is good.

Brooks Tree Farm
9785 Portland RD NE
Salem OR 97305
503 393 6300. Seedling conifers and deciduous bareroot. Big plants and excellent prices, probably the best you will find.

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