If you’ve been trying to plant more trees on your homestead, then you’ve likely figured something out. It’s really expensive. When you’re spending $30 per tree it can be hard to make a substantial dent, especially on a large property. That can make things like wildlife management and other tasks very difficult!
However, the good news is that there are a few really great ways to get trees for dirt cheap!
Your State Forestry Service
I learned the other day that the forestry service for your state actually sells trees! The reason being that they want you to plant native trees (which you should do anyway!), and if you’re down for doing a lot of natural planting of trees native to your state then you can get great deals on seedlings.
Some state forestry sites have better options than others though, and you have to buy from your state’s website. A quick check for the state of Tennessee’s forestry site displays the trees that you can get, how much it’ll cost you, and how to order them.
In Tennessee, you can order tons of different varieties of pines and hardwoods including Christmas pines, oaks, plums, pecans, persimmon, walnut, pawpaws, and many more species. Keep in mind that there is an “ordering season”, and you’ll only be able to order trees within certain time frames, so plan ahead!
Just google something like “buy trees state forestry” + your state.
If you can’t get what you want from the forestry service then there are some other options open to you! One of the best options is.. Craigslist! While it’s a little hit and miss and you will need to be patient, in some cases you can get these trees for free if you’re willing to come get them.
As a bonus, most of these trees are much larger which cuts down on your growing time! Most people want these trees gone and they don’t want to pay somebody for removal. So, if you’ve got the means to dig them up and take them with you then they’re yours.
However, there are plenty of backyard gardeners who sell seedlings that they are growing for cheap prices too. This is usually a hobby for them so the prices are low, but they’re still good trees, and you can sometimes get really good deals.
Get 10 “free” trees from Arborday.org
So, technically these trees are “free” with the purchase of a 6 month membership to their site, which costs $10. But, that means you’re getting 10 native trees for $1 each, which ain’t a bad deal!
After entering your zipcode, you’ll be able to choose from an assortment of trees in bundles that are native to your area. You can see what the mixes are by pressing the +/- button next to each selection!
You can also purchase more trees from their site which are decently priced but not as cheap as from the forestry service. Your membership also gets you a discount over their normal prices though, so it might be a good place to try if you want something that you can’t get from the forestry service in your state.