We are now sold out for the 2024 Shelterbelt Program.

We are pleased to offer County residents the opportunity to purchase shelterbelt species at an excellent rate.

The County of Grande Prairie is introducing a shelterbelt program at a cost-recovery basis. This means you can browse through our selection of species, place your order online, and pickup your seedlings in spring 2024.

Shelterbelts are proven to help protect soil, improve air and water quality, enhance wildlife habitat, and beautify your landscape. In agricultural settings, field shelterbelts help reduce soil erosion by wind, increase moisture for crop growth, and may even help increase crop yields.

Please note the following conditions:

  • This program is available for County of Grande Prairie residents only.
  • Although we are working closely with different nurseries to determine species availability, there is no guarantee that all orders will be fulfilled. Nurseries may encounter issues like disease or poor weather which could impact their supplies. You will only be charged for the species that you receive.
  • We do not offer any reimbursement or warranty on species that do not survive after being planted. Please see the information in the drop-down menu below to learn more about how to best care for your seedlings.
  • A standard $5.00 shipping & handling fee will be applied to all orders.

For more information about each species available in the 2024 Shelterbelt Program, click on the dropdown below:

2024 Shelterbelt Species

Evergreen Trees

Tall Trees

Mid-Sized Trees

Shrubs & Hedges

Fruit-Bearing Species

Native Pollinator-Friendly

Hemp Weed Suppression Tree Squares

Common Q&A:

What Is The Cost To Order Seedlings?
  • This program is being run on a cost-recovery basis. We are placing bulk orders to help get County residents better rates for seedlings.
  • Depending on the species, costs range anywhere from $0.33/seedling - $5.00/seedling. 
    • Please note that each species is being sold in a bundle of either 10 or 15 (we will not be offering individual seedlings).
  • There is a $5.00 shipping and handling fee applied to each order.
When Will I Pay For My Order?

Because we cannot guarantee all orders will be fulfilled, we are not taking payments until orders are picked up in the spring.

When Will My Order Be Ready?
  • Orders will be ready either at the end of May or beginning of June.
  • We will provide all customers with notice leading up to the pickup date.
Where Will I Pickup My Order?
When ready, orders can be picked up at the County's Community Services Building.
Where Can I Learn More About Shelterbelts?
Who Can I Contact If I Have Questions or Need Help With My Order?

You can contact Kate Winterford, Soil Conservation and Stewardship Coordinator:

Information on the planting and care of seedlings will be provided when seedlings are picked up and can also be found below:

Transportation and Storage of Seedlings

Because the roots of tree seedlings dry rapidly, it is important to keep them cool and damp for as long as possible.

  • Do not leave your seedlings in a vehicle for long, especially during hot and windy days.
  • Cover or put your seedlings in a box to avoid exposure to direct sunlight during transportation.
    • If covering, use a reflective tarp or canopy if possible. Other materials such as canvas will hold heat and warm the seedlings.

Once you arrive home with your seedlings, keep them in a shaded or covered area where they will not be exposed to wind or direct sunlight. For example, a cooler/fridge, root cellar, or cold corner of your shed.

  • The best method is to plant your trees and shrubs within a few days to reduce the risk of exposure to disease, molding, drying, and other problems.
  • If your seedlings begin to dry out, sprinkle them with water to keep them moist.
    • Avoid keeping them in water as you can drown them and cause damage due to oxygen starvation.
When To Plant

For best results, plant your seedlings within a few days after pickup.

Where To Plant

It is important to plant your seedlings in an area that will provide them with room to grow. Avoid planting your seedlings too close to buildings, buried service lines, pipelines, or overhead powerlines.

Certain site characteristics will also play a role in the health of your seedlings. Avoid planting in areas that have:

  • Excessive competition from existing vegetation. 
    • This includes aboveground (thick shading grasses, tall weeds) and belowground (rhizomatous grasses) vegetation.
  • Highly compacted soils.
  • Saturated soils.
How To Plant

If you are planting a large number of seedlings, consider using a tree planting shovel rather than a generic spade. A tree planting shovel is specially designed to make a slit in the ground that will help you plant seedlings more efficiently. 

See the graphic below from the Agroforestry and Woodlot Extension Society which demonstrates the proper planting technique:

Tree planting technique infographic


Digging Your Hole

When digging a hole for your seedling, it should be as deep as the roots so that the roots can grow straight. The hole should be about twice the width of the root ball. 

Preventing Injury

Because planting seedlings is a repetitive task, there is a risk for strain injuries if proper care is not taken. Consider these tips to prevent injury:

  • Wear the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
    • Work boots, gloves, and a sun hat are recommended.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Take frequent breaks.
  • Select a shovel with a length that is suitable for your height to maintain a healthy posture.

Caring For Your Seedlings

Your seedlings need sufficient water to grow successfully. Without adequate rainfall, you may need to water your seedlings throughout the summer months. You can decrease the amount of watering toward the end of August to allow your seedlings to winterize.

You may consider mulching around the base of your seedlings to help regulate soil temperatures and conserve water.

References and Resources

Information on this page was provided by the Agroforestry and Woodlot Extension Society (AWES). Follow this link for more information about planting tree and shrub seedlings.

Further resources: