Linn seedling sale success continues

Feb 13, 2023 | Author: Larry Mauter, LCSWA Member
Photos by Bonnie Marshall and Larry Mauter | Editor: Nancy Hildebrandt

Record number of orders, seedlings notched at 28th annual event

Record efforts produced record results for the 2023 Linn County Small Woodlands Association seedling sale.

Almost 14,000 seedlings were purchased at the Feb. 4 sale, with pre-orders totaling 238 customers. Another 150 sales came from walk-ins at the 28th annual event.

The sales allow the LCSWA to provide college scholarships to Linn County forestry students as well as Linn 4-Hers who keep records of their forestry education work.
“Our success at the seedling sale gets smoother each year as we learn what works best over the years. We started out in a covered storage area outside at Coastal Farm’s old store,” said Fay Sallee, a 4-H leader and woodland owner. Her late husband Sherm Sallee began the effort as a way to help small woodlands owners obtain seedlings for their forests.

28th annual LCSWA seedling sale

  • Current year scholarship dispersal: $5,600
  • Volunteers: 72 including 42 4-Hers and parents
  • Total hours of volunteer time: 516
  • 2023 pre-orders: 238
  • Average bundle, same species wrapped: 8 seedlings
  • Saturday sales: 150
  • Pre-order bundles gathered and wrapped Friday: 1,436
  • Pre-order seedlings: 11,699
  • Total seedlings sold: 13,896
  • Next year: The annual seedling sale will be Feb. 10 — moving to the second Saturday in February

“The volunteers, of all ages, continue to make our sale such a huge success,” said Bonnie Marshall, seedling sale chairman. “Friday was a long day for many folks involved in setting up, gathering, packaging, and wrapping seedlings, cleaning up and preparing for Saturday's sale,” she said. Some 11,700 seedlings were wrapped in sawdust and newspaper and then bagged for the 238 pre-orders during a 9-hour period, said Marshall.

Volunteers included 30 members of the LCSWA and another 42 4-Hers and parents. Sallee and Cory Koos lined up the volunteers for the weekend work. Overall, 516 hours of volunteer time were recorded.

“Some of our volunteers this year were recent graduates of the Master Woodland Manager training from Linn, Benton, Polk and Clackamas counties” Marshall said.

“Blue elderberry continues to be very popular,” said Marshall. “Every year I bump up how many I order from the nursery and they continue to sell out year after year. Red columbine was a new item this year and sold out early on. I'll definitely be ordering more for next year's sale,” she added.

Sword ferns at the sale were harvested at Steve and Katie Kohl’s tree farm near McDowell Creek. Clever Clover 4-Hers helped with the digging and wrapping of the ferns.

Along with the Saturday sale, woodlands craft items and information booths are part of the event at the Linn County fairgrounds.

Final financial numbers for the sale will be available in March. The LCSWA has dispersed $5,600 in scholarships this year.

Starting in 2024, the seedling sale will be held on the second Saturday in February (instead of the first Saturday). It’s not too early to put the date on your calendar: Feb. 10, 2024.

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Friday was packaging day as volunteers young and old deliver seedlings to be packed in sawdust and newspaper.

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