New Hampshire State Forest Nursery - Quality Seedlings Since 1910
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A Brief History

The New Hampshire State Forest Nursery was established in 1910 by authority of the New Hampshire Forestry Commission on a small parcel of land in Pembroke, NH for raising white pine seedlings. At that time, much land in the state was cutover, burned or otherwise affected needing reforestation or other improvement.

The purpose of establishing the State Forest Nursery was threefold:

  • "to supply demand for planting stock"
  • "to take up a cooperative planting system with towns and private landowners"
  • "supply native tree seedlings to avoid importing possibly diseased out-of-state trees"

Pembroke Nursery, 1910 White Pine Seed Beds, 1911 Gerrish Depot, Boscawen, 1912
Pembroke Nursery, 1910 White Pine Seed Beds, 1911 Gerrish Depot, Boscawen, 1912

Fifty thousand (50,000) seedlings were sold the first year at $3.00 per thousand. Demand was for 200,000 seedlings that first year.

In 1911, about 1.5 acres, a house and barn were leased transferring nursery operations to Boscawen, NH. About 250,000 seedlings were distributed from this new location each year, 80 percent of which were transplants redistributed from commercial nurseries outside the state.

In 1914, a larger acreage was purchased in the vicinity of the leased operations and 717,000 seedlings were produced and distributed from the Nursery that year.

In 1914, Nursery operating expenses were $2,200, slightly below the State Forester's salary of $2,500. Seedling sales brought in $1,700 or about 75 percent of operating costs.

During 89 years of operation since 1911, just under 76,000,000 seedlings have been distributed from the Nursery averaging about 850,000 seedlings per year. Highest production year was in 1959 of 4,000,000 seedlings during the second year of the federal soil bank program. Lowest production was 143,000 seedlings in 1944 as a result of low demand following World War II. White pine has been 31 percent of seedling distribution since Nursery establishment followed by white spruce (22 percent), red pine (19 percent), balsam fir (17 percent), and Scotch pine (4 percent).

Nursery Crew, 1915 Looking North at State Forest Nursery, 1926 Map of Current Nursery Layout
Nursery Crew, 1915 Looking North at State Forest Nursery, 1926 Map of Current Nursery Layout

In 1982, the State Forest Nursery was jeopardized by legislative termination but re-instated with the intent of becoming self-sufficient. Legislative Sunset Review in 1984 reaffirmed the need for the State Forest Nursery as did the Society of American Foresters, Granite State Chapter in 1982. The Nursery's operating budget was increased by the NH Legislature in 1985 for needed improvements and operating costs.

Today, as a result of continued support by the NH Legislature, cooperators and others, and improved management operations and seedling quality, the Nursery is carrying out it's mission, and revenue from seedling sales covers Nursery operating costs.


Seedling Catalog

Click here for a pdf of the Spring 2019 catalog. Please download a copy of the catalog as there are a limited number of hard copy catalogs available due to high demand for them. See link to order form below.

You may  email us or give us a call at 603.271.2214 to receive a catalog or be placed on the mailing list.  There is no email distribution list for the catalog.
The SEEDLING ORDER FORM is available to download by double clicking on the ordering link at the top of the page or click here.


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