Seedling sales reach new heights

Feb 24, 2024 | Author: Larry Mauter, LCSWA member | Editor: Nancy Hildebrandt

29th annual LCSWA fundraiser overcomes January ice storm issues

It’s time to start swinging those planting hoes.

The 29th annual Linn County Small Woodlands Association seedling sale is in the books.

Another record-breaking year was notched — with 246 pre-orders tallied, up from 238 last year.  A total of 10,011 tree and native plant seedlings were packed for the pre-orders.

Another 827 plants were sold Saturday, Feb. 17.

The sale raised approximately $13,000 for scholarships for Linn County residents in forestry or natural resources majors, as well as 4-H forestry students.

People packing orders for the seedling sale
Prepping pre-orders was a two-day process this year. More than 50 volunteers logged 500 hours of work over three days. Photo by Steve Kendall, Oregon Department of Forestry

Blue elderberry was the most popular native shrub sold, followed by Red-flowering currant. Douglas-fir and Willamette Valley Ponderosa pine were the most popular conifer seedlings sold, said first-year chair Lena Tucker.

Despite a couple curve balls, Tucker reported the Feb. 17 delivery date went well.

“It all worked out. We sold almost everything we had,” she said.

The January ice storm forced the sale to be moved back a couple weeks. That led organizers to find a new pick-up location — Sweet Home instead of the Linn County Expo Center.

“With a lot of creativity we made a smaller space work,” said LCSWA President Mike Barsotti.

Volunteer efforts again saved the day as packaging for orders was done Feb. 15 and 16 in the vehicle bays at the Oregon Department of Forestry property in Sweet Home.

“The volunteers really make it happen,” Tucker said. “Everyone worked hard with lots of smiles. They were troopers, despite the chilly weather.”

Fay Sallee coordinates the volunteer brigades. A change this year included packing pre-orders in sawdust and newspaper during two days, instead of one.

“We had to deal with the wind and the rain but had tarps and tents for shelters,” she said.

Just over 500 volunteer hours were logged by the 52 workers, said Sallee. About half of the crew were 4-Hers and their parents.

“We had a really good turnout on Saturday,” she added.

Mark your calendars for the 2025 sale. It will be back at the Linn County Fairgrounds and Event Center on Feb. 15.

Seedling pre-orders will be open in December 2024.  Watch this website (linncountyswa.com) for announcements.

LCSWA is a 501 (c) non-profit organization.

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Fay Sallee, left, and Lance Marshall packed seedlings under the protection of an OSU-themed tent. Photo by Lena Tucker, LCSWA member

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