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Seedling Sales and Giveaways in Northern Virginia

Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District.

Seedling packages will be made available online on the NVSWCD Storefront (more on that below!) at 10am, 2pm, and 6pm on Thursday, March 14, 2024, and will remain available until sold out. If you miss the 10am seedlings, check back later in the day at 2pm or 6pm after the inventory has been replenished. 


The seedling sale pickup will be Friday April 19 from 9 am - 4 pm and Saturday April 20, 2024, from 9 am - 12 pm at Sleepy Hollow Bath and Racquet Club, 3516 Sleepy Hollow Road, Falls Church VA 22044. There will be no pickup after the event and any seedlings not collected at pickup will be donated to a reforestation project in Fairfax County


The NVSWCD Storefront, where you will go to purchase seedlings, will be shared by email and on our website closer to the sale opening. You will be asked to make an account on the NVSWCD storefront before placing your order. You can use this account for future seedling sales and other NVSWCD events.


View the seedlings available in each package below and be sure to order on opening day. You must purchase your seedlings in advance, no day of sales or extras will be offered. Be sure to create your account BEFORE March 14 so you are ready to place your order when the sale opens. 


Fairfax ReLeaf

Visit the "Free Trees" page ​for information on spring and fall distributions. 

Dominion Power

Seedling giveaways to students in the Dominion Power catchment area: 



Arlington Tree Stewards and Parks and Recreation give away free trees in the fall to Arlington residents. In addition, the Tree Canopy Equitey Program accepts applications in early January.

How to plant tree seedlings


Starting with seedlings is the best way to obtain healthy plants, but these babies need careful attention for the first couple years. General planting instructions can be found here. A few points need emphasizing:

  1. Get bare root plants into the ground right away. If that is impossible, heel it in temporarily.

  2. Water. Be careful not to overwater, but it is essential to give the roots a deep soaking every 7-10 days for at least the first growing season. (Once established, and if sited correctly, native plants do not need supplemental watering.)

  3. Clear the ground. When planting in lawn (which is a great idea, given that lawns are worse than useless to the ecosystem), you need to kill the grass first. Popular methods include digging it up, or smothering it with cardboard or newspaper covered by mulch. Do not let the mulch touch the plant, though! Cardboard works well but complicates watering until it decomposes - see point #2.

  4. Protect from critters. It is sad to pay a visit to your plant and find no trace of it. Deer, rabbits, and voles may do it in. ‘Repellex tablets’ planted with the plant are said make it taste bad to deer and rabbits. Regular spraying with repellants are wise until the plant is established. A circle of wire fencing will protect it from deer (and can protect it from rabbits if it is sunk into the ground). If you are planting in a very natural environment, you could consider planting in pots to allow the trees to get bigger for a year or two. This is not ideal - transplanting is hard on trees - but it allows you to protect them from animals better. You will need to be extra careful about watering.

  5. Choose the right site. Trees create shade, but many of them won’t grow in the shade! For instance, Redbuds and Pawpaws are shade tolerant, but the seedlings of many other trees in the forest will have to wait years or decades for an opening in the canopy before they start shooting up. Shortleaf pine requires full sun. Check out light and moisture requirements here.

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