View Photos & Tree Descriptions Here

Central Platte NRD sold 20,475 trees and 2 miles of weed barrier in 2020. CPNRD has sold a total of 3,780,468 trees since 1972 and 593.4 miles of weed barrier since 1991.



Order Form  |  Brochure

Orders are taken November 1 – April 1 for spring planting.  All stock is sold in multiples of 25. Payment must accompany order.  100 trees for $90.00 or 25 trees for $22.50

Cost-Share is available for trees and weed barriers at 50%.  A minimum of 200 trees must be ordered to receive cost-share funds.

Receive 50 seedlings for $55.00 (10 of each species.
Flowering Package  |  Wildlife Package  |  Eastern Nebraska  |  Western Nebraska

Tree Planting Guide  |  Ground Preparation

Orders are taken by Central Platte NRD or by your local USDA-NRCS by calling or visiting either office.
*Central Platte NRD  215 Kaufman Ave.  Grand Island   (308) 385-6282     

In 2019. CPNRD sold 29,775 tree seedlings and 7.84 miles of weed barrier through the Conservation Tree Program in 2019. The NRD has sold 3,759,993 trees since 1973 and 591.37 miles of weed barrier since 1991.

*Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
   Central City: (308) 946-2251   Ext. 3     Grand Island: (308) 382-0814   Ext. 3
   Kearney: (308) 237-3118   Ext. 3             Lexington: (308) 324-6314   Ext. 3
   Osceola: (402)  747-2461  Ext. 3




After CPNRD receives the seedlings from Halsey, we store them in a cooler until planting time. The seedlings will be packaged for pick up at CPNRD or your local NRCS office. If you’re planting your own trees, you’ll be notified on which day to pick them up.  Tree planter equipment is available at no charge. Reservations for the equipment can be made on a first-come, first-serve basis by contacting CPNRD or NRCS.

Trees should be planted immediately, however, if you are unable to plant your trees right away be sure place them in cold storage. A refrigerator is the best way to hold trees (36-38 degrees F.) Storing for a few days: If cold storage isn’t available, keep trees in a cool place such as a basement in the moist packing material. Packing material must be kept moist, but roots should not be submerged in water for more than 5 hours.   Storing for a few weeks: If trees are to be held for a longer period, place them in a shaded, sloping trench. A 2′ trench will hold about 250 seedlings. Be sure the roots aren’t crowded and cut the strings on the bundles. Cover the roots with soil and pack firmly. Avoid air pockets and keep the soil moist.


WEED BARRIERWeed barrier w seedlings

Order Form | Brochure

The Weed Barrier Program is primarily used as long-lasting protection against weeds for seedling trees without constant effort and without damage to the seedlings or the environment. Weed barrier is available for installation on tree plantings either by the CPNRD tree crew or by landowners themselves. It is primarily used to reduce the competition of grass and weeds for seedling trees without damage to the seedlings or to the environment, but it also provides the trees with a moisture retention benefit.

Weed barrier is a black polypropylene fabric with the appearance of tightly-woven burlap.  Moisture is able to penetrate the weed barrier fabric, but it prevents moisture loss from the soil beneath the fabric. Once the material is in place, post-planting maintenance is virtually eliminated and the material has a minimum service life of five years guaranteed.


  • Fabric: 6’ wide  .50 cents/lineal foot + tax
  • Sheets of Fabric: 4’x4’ sheets $1.25 /sheet
  • Staples: 10”x 2”x 8” gauge .15 cents each Payment for fabric & staples is required when an order is placed
  • Fabric & Installation: A minimum of 1,000 linear feet will be installed at a job site.
    Customers are billed for actual feet after the job is completed.  .80 cents per linear feet + tax.  50% payment (of estimated cost) is required when an order is placed


Weed barrier will be installed by the NRD contractor if the ground has been properly prepared prior to the crew’s arrival. The charge for the fabric & installation is .80 cents/linear foot (+ tax). NRD crews will install a minimum of 1,000 linear feet at a job site. A 50% deposit is due when the order is placed and you will be billed for the remaining actual linear feet installed after the job is completed.  Minimum charge is 1,000′.

Maintenance: After a few years, it would be a good idea to check the trunks of the trees to make sure the fabric isn’t too close to them. As the tree grows and the trunk expands, it may get larger than the hole that is initially cut in the fabric… this is called girdling. The fabric may need to be cut away as the trees grow to prevent strangulation of the trees. This can be done easily by using a box cutter, pocket knife or a large pair of scissors. The fabric is made of a strong material so you need to take caution not to cut the trunk of the trees or yourself when making the hole larger. If you have any questions about girdling just give us a call.

CPNRD Contacts: Kelly ColeTom Backer

Tree Planter


A complete tree planting service for orders of 400 trees or more. Service includes a tree crew with all necessary equipment. When arrangements are made for the NRD to plant the trees, the tree planting crew will deliver them to the landowner at planting time. When a crew completes a planting, any trees left will be heeled in at the end of a row unless the landowner specifies otherwise.

Cost:  .40 cents/tree planted


The area to be planted should be prepared as if a garden or field crop were being planted. Plowing and then disking or roto-tilling the ground will establish an excellent seedbed. Survival of your trees greatly depends on excellent ground preparation. Autumn is the best time to begin preparing the soil for tree planting because the winter weather allows the soil to mellow. When planting seedlings, tree roots must at all times be kept moist, but not submerged in water. Do not allow roots to be exposed to wind or direct sun for any length of time.


The spacing between rows is usually 12-18 feet depending on the species and the width of the equipment to be used when mowing.

  • Cedar trees: 10-14′ apart
  • Pine trees: 10-18′ apart
  • Deciduous: 12-16′ apart
  • Shrubs: 4′ apart




Eastern Red Cedars make a great windbreak.  They grow very quickly, however, they can become a nuisance very quickly as well. We’d like to remind you to keep an eye on your pastures for any volunteer and unwanted cedars.

If you see cedars growing in places where they shouldn’t be, be sure to cut them down while they are small to prevent your pastures from becoming over-run by the cedars.  It’s much more cost effective to remove them while they’re small.


Tree Planting Illustration


Dig a hole deep enough to hold the roots full length.
Spread seedling roots outward and downward keeping root collar at grade.
Backfill dirt and tamp around roots.
Water and mulch.


Watering during the hot, dry summer months is no doubt the single most important element to help minimize stress. Ideally, newly planted trees should receive about an inch of water per week (one gallon) from rain or irrigation. Small frequent watering supplied by lawn sprinklers are not beneficial to tree roots. Give your trees a good soaking each time you water and then allow the planting site to dry before watering again. You cannot water too much at one time, but you can water too often!


Mulching eliminates potential competition. Two to four inches of loosely packed organic material such as wood chips, pine straw, peat moss, grass clippings or shredded leaves is an adequate mulch layer. Mulching helps to:

  • retain soil moisture
  • reduce weeds and controls grass
  • increases natural soil fertility as the mulch decomposes
  • improves soil structure, aeration, and temperature
  • protects the trunk from injuries caused by mowing equipment and trimmers

An alternative to mulching is the use of weed barrier, a black permeable fabric that controls weeds and conserves soil moisture. It’s a durable polypropylene woven fabric that works by eliminating vegetative competition, (weeds & grasses) and allows water to penetrate it. Sunlight cannot penetrate it, so vegetation won’t grow. Once the weed barrier is in place, maintenance is virtually eliminated. Weed barrier can be purchased & installed by CPNRD (see info above.


DO NOT fertilize at the time of planting! Newly planted trees should be fertilized only if they exhibit signs of nutrient deficiency.


When trees are transplanted, they go through a period of shock. During this time the tree is expending a majority of its energy in developing its root system. Don’t Panic. The tops of trees may turn brown but the root system may still be alive and may regain a healthy appearance in the fall.


“Foresting The Sandhills”  is an amazing historical and silent movie on the Nebraska National Forest and Bessey Nursery.  While it does get the name of the adjacent river wrong (Middle, not North Loup), the video is outstanding.  The source is the Nebraska State Historical Society.   Here’s the link…