Schools are eligible for free seedlings for spring planting ALBANY The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Saratoga Tree Nursery has begun taking orders for its annual sale of tree and shrub seedlings. Schools across New York State can also now receive free seedlings for spring planting through the DEC School Seedling Program, which will provide 50 tree seedlings or a mixed packet of 30 wildlife shrubs to any public or private school that would like to participate. The seedlings can be planted on school grounds or other community spaces. The Saratoga Tree Nursery produces more than 50 species of trees and shrubs for planting on public and private land. The objective of the program is to provide low-cost, native planting materials from known New York sources to encourage landowners to enhance the state’s environment for future generations, according to officials. Landowners can get planting advice from their nearest DEC forestry office or private forestry consultant. The brochure and order form “2011 Trees and Shrubs” can be found DEC’s Web site at www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7127.html, or by calling the nursery. To order seedlings by phone, call 518-581-1439. Mail orders are also accepted and can be sent to the Saratoga Tree Nursery, 2369 Route 50, Saratoga Springs, N.Y. 12866. Orders may be placed through mid-May. Seedlings are shipped from mid-April to mid-May. To participate in DEC’s School Seedling Program, schools should contact 518-587-1120, or the nearest DEC regional forestry office to request a “School Seedlings” brochure. The brochure contains all the information necessary to place an order. The information and application is also available online at www.dec.ny.gov/animals/9393.html. Applications must be received at the nursery by March 31.