Colorado State Forest Service Nursery

The Colorado State Forest Service Nursery is located on the Foothills Campus of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.  At the CSFS Nursery, we take pride in being able to offer landowners with low-cost, adaptable, native species that are grown in our own backyard.  We are situated on 130 acres with 18,000 square feet of greenhouse space where our containerized seedlings begin their lives.  Along with greenhouse production, we grow several deciduous species in our fields which are lifted each fall and contribute to our bare root stock. 

The CSFS Nursery has an extensive container production that begins in the greenhouses.  Seeding occurs two times a year, once in the spring and again in the fall.  These two different seeding seasons allows us to keep our greenhouses full year round and gives us the ability to roll out new inventory frequently.

Alongside our containerized seeding, we produce thousands of bare root seedlings.  Our seeds are sown in October so that they have the chance to overwinter after stratification.  Seedlings continue to grow out in the fields for one to two years depending on the species—some grow faster than others.  When the seedlings have reached the appropriate height requirement, they are lifted each fall.  We have learned over the years that deciduous species tend to grow better in the field compared to evergreens.  

Deciduous species lose their leaves every fall to prepare for winter, allowing them to harden off before lifting occurs.  We have to wait until the species drop their leaves and the soil is at an adequate moisture level—slightly dry.  One of the most important aspect of the lifting process is to make sure that the plants have entered dormancy so that they are not shocked.  Before lifting occurs we attach a tree lifting machine to the back of our New Holland tractor.  This lifter digs 8 inches to a foot into the ground and reciprocates while loosening the dirt around the root systems. 

We have started to produce many deciduous species that will provide a stronger focus on urban forestry.  Upkeep of our urban forests is equally as important to that of our mountainous and rural forests. Urban forests provide communities with reduced energy use, improved water quality, wildlife habitats, and an increased human health.  An issue in urban forestry is the emergence of certain invasive insect species in Colorado.  We feel it is very important to provide replacement tree species for those effective by invasive insects to increase the vitality of our urban forests. 

Another conservation effort that is a high priority at the CSFS Nursery is the preservation of pollinator habitats.  With diminishing bee colonies due to colony collapse disorder, we believe it is important to build up and conserve these habitats to give them the best possible chance of survival.  All of our perennials are native to Colorado and offer a diverse habitat selection for all pollinators including bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, bats, and more. 

As of fall 2013, the CSFS Nursery has been taking monumental strides to improve our products.  The range of species that we grow and the sizes that we offer have expanded greatly.  We are constantly experimenting with new species to bring you the highest quality in locally grown, drought tolerant, conservation species for all of your reclamation and reforestation goals.  

You can view our online inventory at and feel free to email us or give us a call if you would like more information about our program or would like to purchase seedlings. We are open to the public in Fort Collins, CO and deliver nation wide!

Contact Colorado State Forest Service Nursery

3843 Laporte Ave.
CSU Foothills Campus, Bldg. 1060
Fort Collins, Colorado  80521
Phone: (970) 491-8429


Service Area

Statewide service provider in:
  • Colorado

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