Annual tree sale slated for March 18 in Battle Ground


The annual tree seedling sale conducted by the Clark County Farm Forestry Association is set to begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday, March 18, at the Albertsons’ parking lot at 2108 W. Main St. in Battle Ground.

The sale is slated to continue until 11 a.m. but ends sooner if all of the trees are sold.

Trees featured in this year’s sale will be priced at $2 and $3 each. Most of the trees are one to two feet tall.

Popular Douglas fir trees will be priced at $2 each for trees measuring about 18 inches tall. Also priced at $2 each will be western red cedar, incense cedar, deodar cedar, noble fir, Ponderosa pine, big leaf maple, coast redwood, western hemlock, nordmann fir, Oregon ash, red osier dogwood, shore pine and red elderberry.

Norway spruce will be offered at $3 each.

Douglas fir trees are considered fast growing and can reach 200 feet in height. They prefer full sun. The western red cedar is slow growing but can also reach 200 feet in height in full sun or partial shade.

Other plants available at the sale include red flowering currant, Douglas spirea, nootka rose, and Oregon grape, all at $2 each, and the dwarf Swiss mountain pine at $1 each.

Most trees at the annual sale will be bare root and are native to the Pacific Northwest.

Members of the Master Gardener program of Washington State University will be on hand to answer questions about planting and caring for trees.

The Farm Forestry Association recommends that trees be planted as soon as possible.

Trees should be stored in a cool, shady place with roots kept wet until planting. The planting hole should be deep enough so that the roots do not curl in the hole.

The soil should be packed firmly around the roots to avoid air pockets. It is not necessary to fertilize the newly-planted seedlings during the first year but the planting area should be kept weed and grass free for two to three years.

The sale last year began at 7:35 a.m. rather than 8 a.m. so those in line did not have to wait in the rain, according to sale chairman Gene Jones, who estimated that 200 or more people were in line when the sale got underway.

The line was gone by 9 a.m. last year, Jones said, but by 10 a.m. only noble fir, a few shore pine and some Oregon grape were left. Everything was sold by 10:30 a.m.

“As usual, Douglas fir was our biggest seller,” Jones said.

Buyers purchased 3,960 Douglas fir trees last year, Jones said, accounting for about 40% of the 9,485 trees and shrubs sold.

Net proceeds from the sale, which were about $8,500 last year, are used for scholarships and donations to forestry-oriented projects.

The Clark County Farm Forestry Association is an organization of tree farmers with over 250 members who own about 20,000 acres of timber land.

In addition to the public tree sale, members of the association purchase seedlings annually for planting on their own properties. Last year, association members planted over 90,000 trees on their own lands.

“The bottom line is that the tree farmers moved about 101,000 trees into the county last year,” Jones said.

The Clark County Farm Forestry Association has conducted a spring tree sale since 1968 at various locations in the county. The sale has been held exclusively in Battle Ground for the past 16 years.

Jones expressed gratitude to Albertsons for the use of its parking lot.

“We make a big point of leaving the Albertsons’ parking lot as clean as we found it since they are so nice about letting us use it, put sandwich (sign) boards out, and park a pickup with a sign on it in their lot,” Jones said.

The sale will be conducted as cash, check, or, this year, by credit card. 

“I’m proud to be involved in an activity for the community that brings out so much team effort and volunteerism,” Jones said. “It’s really a ‘git ‘er done’ crowd and that includes the Master Gardeners and the 30 or so association members” who conduct the sale.

More information about the tree sale is available by calling Gene Jones at 360-263-3168 or Bob Brink at 360-686-3524.