Baby Trees

I hope to grow our forest gardens and increase access to low-tech, long-term resilient trees for basic needs. I aim to do so with an ethic of mutual benefit. This page is the portal for my tree nursery growing in Reading, PA (historic land of Lenape peoples) and Freeville, NY (unceded land of Cayuga Nation). This nursery is under construction, both as a website and as a startup nursery – more offerings and streamlined service to come! For a list of other ecology-centered nurseries, see Edible Acres and their community compilation.

Below is a listing of current tree offerings along with what is expected for the coming growing season. If you place an order ahead of time, I can grow many trees out for you from seedling to 1-3 years of age.

As of September 17, 2021, this nursery is growing the following trees – with suggested prices for purchase:

  • Hybrid hazelnut (minimal stock Fall 2021; 1yo seedlings coming Fall 2022) – $9 per tree, $20 for 3 trees, $100 for 25 trees. Sold bare root in moist sand, paper, or saw dust and re-used plastic, ready for multi-week cool-moist storage if needed (though best to plant or heel in ASAP). Individual- or 3-tree orders can be potted to grow in a container for a year for an extra $3.
  • Red oak (out of stock Spring 2021) – $4 per tree, $30 per 10 trees, sold bare root. Individual- or 3-tree orders can be potted in a large air-prune bucket or pot for an extra $3, enabling them to grow in a container for a year before field planting.
  • White oak (1yo seedlings coming Fall 2022)
  • Paw paw bred for cold hardiness (1yo seedlings Fall 2021)
  • American persimmon (1yo seedlings Fall 2022)
  • American black elderberry (Sambucus nigra var. canadensis) (1yo rooted cuttings Fall 2021) – $8
  • Golden currants (1yo rooted cuttings Fall 2021)
  • Willows (various stages of propagation)
    • Black Willow (Salix nigra)
    • Black Curly Willow (Salix matsudana ‘Totuosa’) – $8
    • Orange Flame Shrub Willow
    • Yellow Flame Shrub Willow
    • American Willow (Salix Americana)
    • Purpleosier Willow (Salix Purpurea ‘Iratta’ and others) – $10
    • And more!
  • Various walnut hybrids (black walnut, Japanese walnut, and others)
  • Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Holmstrup’) – $7/1, $6/4, $4/10
  • And a small amount of:
    • Poplars (Gazi, OP-367) – $8

To order: Use the Contact page to place orders for trees. I will send a follow up email for confirmation and next steps. In your order message please include:

  • Species and quantity desired
  • Preferred payment method, request for scaled-down price if any (e.g. for a restoration or food sovereignty project, or due to limited resources)
  • Shipping, or delivery or pickup preference relative to southeast PA or central NY
    • My preference is pickup or local delivery of bare root trees. I have some (limited) capacity to ship plants to most states.
  • Any special requests, questions, or suggestions

You can read News and Web-log Posts about Willows Edge nursery activities by viewing all posts tagged “nursery” at my main website, Alchemecology.com.

Pricing and payment options

Prices can be adjusted per your needs. I offer low- and no-cost trees to indigenous people and for community use. I hope you will support my efforts in ecological mutualism by paying what you can toward the suggested prices and by reciprocating Earth’s gifts.

Acceptable payment options include: cash, check, credit card via PayPal, Venmo, barter, Bitcoin or Etherium cryptocurrencies.


Tree Profiles

Hybrid Hazelnuts grown from seed

Found in bountiful hedges at organic student farm. Grown from seed, these trees are diverse, tough, and largely well-adapted to conditions near Ithaca NY (hardiness zone 5a, likely good in zones 4-9). Diversity offers resilience and makes these trees more suitable for home plantings; these are not great for large commercial plantings, due to differences in when nuts will be ready to harvest and how variable their shell and kernel characteristics will be. To the best of my knowledge, the mother trees of these seeds descend from Badgersett Research Farm in Minnesota (quoted below).

Mature row of hybrid hazels, 15-18ft tall with 10-15ft diameters.

[Regarding the need for deep adaptation amid climate chaos and environmental degradation:] “In the face of despair, I say: Adapt. Why not? Humans have a bone-deep primal need to be useful to our families, our villages. Doing nothing of value kills us, fast or slow. I contend that working to find a way forward is useful. And will be satisfying. Do hazels, and/or their hybrids, have characteristics that might help them to survive in potentially semi-chaotic weather and climate? In fact, they do, and not entirely by accident. Although I originally conceived my quest for a new food crop as an answer to agricultural problems such as erosion, water degradation, and loss of biodiversity, I looked for species that were tough under multiple threats, too. It turns out some of the characteristics that hazels evolved were to cope with disturbed climates.”

– quote from Philip Rutter of Badgersett Research Farm, via https://mainegardendesign.com/neo-hybrid-hazels/

A nice article on the relationship between hazels and many generations of temperate-climate peoples: https://www.shelterwoodforestfarm.com/blog/the-lost-forest-gardens-of-europe

Red Oak from seed

Tall and straight, gathered from bird sanctuary during a mast year. Mother trees are bountiful and these seeds had a high germination rate.

Autumn Oak seedlings alongside Hazel air prune beds
Red Oak bare root seedling with long roots