The mission of the Reforestation team is to provide quality, forest tree planting stock to Georgia landowners at reasonable prices. We provide genetically improved varieties of slash and loblolly pines. We also produce vigorous, high-quality nursery stock from superior selections and locally adapted seed sources.
Our Nursery and Seed Orchards
All seedlings sold through GFC nurseries are grown from seed adapted to Georgia’s unique climate and soils. We process our seeds at our seed conditioning plant in Dry Branch, Georgia. Husks, wings and debris are removed and damaged or unhealthy seeds are discarded. Seeds are then dried for storage or prepared for immediate planting.
We participate in two university/industry tree improvement cooperatives, and we maintain two seed production orchards:
Flint River Nursery - Byromville, GA
Our Flint River Nursery in Byromville, Georgia grows approximately 15-20 million seedlings per year. That’s enough stock to reforest over 30,000 acres. We also grow a variety of hardwoods and other conifers.
9850 River Road
Byromville GA 31007
Directions from Macon, GA:
- Follow I-75 South to Exit # 127 Montezuma/Hawkinsville.
- Off the exit ramp, turn onto GA Hwy 26 traveling west towards Montezuma.
- Follow GA Hwy 26 approx. 15 miles into Montezuma, GA.
- At the 2nd traffic light in Montezuma, turn left onto Dooly Street.
- Follow Dooly Street (the name will change first to Drayton Road outside of Montezuma, then to River Road once you are in Dooly County) 10 miles south of Montezuma.
- The nursery will be on the left. There is a sign at the first entrance.
Arrowhead Seed Orchard - Cochran, GA
214 Ocmulgee Pfa Road
Cochran, GA 31014
Directions from Macon, GA:
- Follow I-16 E and US-129 ALT S/US-23 S for 33 miles to Coley Station Rd in Bleckley County.
- Turn right on Coley Station Road and follow it to Porter Road.
- Take a right on Porter Road and follow it until it merges with Magnolia Road.
- Take the first right off Magnolia Road onto Ocmulgee Pfa Road; arrive at the Arrowhead Seed Orchard.
Each year, GFC supplies seedlings to Georgia landowners for reforestation, beautification and wildlife habitat. GFC begins processing orders on July 1 for the following planting season (in Georgia, planting season is from December through March 1). Seedlings are available to the public on a first come-first serve basis. Orders can be delivered to and picked up at any GFC office across the state without additional charge. Find out more about tree seedling sales.
The ideal time to plant trees seedlings in Georgia is from December through March 1.
Planting trees is one of the easiest and most sustainable ways to positively affect the environment, and there are numerous economic benefits as well. Trees can provide oxygen while storing carbon, they provide shelter and habitats for wildlife, and they can be a renewable income source for landowners. When preparing to plant trees, it is good to have a proper plan of action. GFC does rent reforestation equipment. Contact your local county office for more information. Here are some important tips to remember:
- At delivery, inspect the packages of seedlings. Before accepting, make sure your order is correct and check for damages. Unload immediately.
- Minimize storage time, especially early in the season.
- Do not wash or shake gel from seedling roots. It prevents drying out during transport and decreases planting shock.
- Do not prune the roots of packed seedlings. Seedlings need every tiny root to absorb moisture and nutrients from the ground. The more root surface, the better the growth. If some seedlings have roots that are excessively long, remove them individually, and trim slightly.
- Do not allow seedlings to dry out from wind or sun. Ample moisture is the key factor – “if they dry, they die.”
- Allow air to circulate to prevent heating when in packages. If bags/bales are stacked over two deep per layer, use spacers to provide 2″-4″ air circulation between layers.
- Avoid temperature extremes. Fluctuations in temperature, especially excessive heat, can result in seedling trauma.
- Do not attempt to plant seedlings that have been thoroughly frozen in the pack. Freezing irreversibly damages the root system, leading to seedling death. Allow lightly frozen seedlings to thaw naturally. Do not handle seedlings in this state, as it leads to cracking and breaking.
- Do not transport seedlings in truck beds containing fertilizer, chemical, or fuel residues.
- Protect plants from weather extremes when transporting to planting site. Vehicles used for transporting seedlings should have a light-colored tarp to shade and protect seedlings. At least 12″ of air space should be left between the protective cover and the top of the bags/bales to avoid heat build-up.
- Transport seedlings carefully. Rough handling can damage root systems and predispose seedlings to stress.
- Avoid extended transport time.
- Plant seedlings within a 2-week period after acceptance.
- Plant when soil is moist.
- Plant bare-root seedlings during cooler temperatures. Low temperatures are more conducive to seedling survival and healthy growth. We recommend only planting after November 1 if soil moisture is plentiful. It’s better to wait and plant after December 1 and before March 1.
- When hand planting, carry plants to site in container with enough mud, sawdust, or wet moss to cover and keep roots moist.
- Remove only a single seedling at a time from bucket when hand-planting, or enough seedlings from planter tray for immediate use. Do not expose roots to drying wind and sun.
- Plant seedlings deeply. The correct planting depth should be at least as deep as the plant grew in the nursery. Greater exposure to the soil and its water content – even one-half inch of added depth of planting – significantly improves survival rates.
- Use mechanical planting if possible. Although slightly more expensive, planting mechanically yields better results. It is an investment that pays off. Make sure the machine is properly adjusted to get the proper planting depth and to avoid J-rooting.
How many trees should I plant?
The density of an initial planting of trees depends upon both the species and objectives of the landowner. Landowners planting strictly for timber production generally plant Loblolly, Slash or Longleaf pines and will tend to plant at higher densities. Landowners with other objectives — such as wildlife habitat — may plant pines and other species at a lower density to satisfy their goals. This fact sheet can help you determine the number of trees to plant.
Check with your forester or wildlife biologist for more information about species selection, planting densities and typical site preparation and care after planting to expect good results. Some landowners will encounter problems that are unique to their specific lands. If you need advice, contact your local GFC office. A qualified forester will be able to offer assistance.