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How to Buy Tree Seedlings

The following recommendations are offered as guidelines for selecting seed or seedlings from geographic locations appropriate for your planting area.

The Importance of Seed Sources

When buying tree seed or seedlings, it is extremely important to know the geographic location of the seed source. Planting seedlings or seed from a seed source outside of a natural geographic region can lead to growth loss and, in some cases, mortality.

The movement of plant materials beyond these geographic limits may contribute to planting failures and unexplained mortality 15 to 20 years into timber rotation.

Types of Tree Seedlings to Plant

Loblolly Pines

Mississippi is divided into two zones for proper seed source selection of loblolly pine.

  • North Mississippi:
    Seed should be from north Mississippi, south Arkansas, north Louisiana, northeast Texas, north Alabama, north Georgia, or Piedmont South Carolina. 
  • South Mississippi:
    Seed should be from south Mississippi, south Louisiana, southeast Texas, south Alabama, south Georgia, north Florida, or coastal South Carolina up to Georgetown, South Carolina.

Slash Pine

Any seed source north of Tampa, Florida that has been screened for fusiform rust susceptibility is acceptable.

Longleaf Pine

Based on present data, the best sources for Mississippi are those from south Mississippi and south Alabama.


Long-term test data concerning the effects of hardwood seed source movement is not conclusive at this time. Until more test data is available, use local sources.

When to Choose Piedmont or Coastal Loblolly Pine Seedlings

Piedmont Loblolly Pine

If you will be planting seedlings in the following counties, order Piedmont Loblolly Pine:
Alcorn, Attalla, Benton, Bolivar, Calhoun, Carroll, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Clay, Coahoma, Desoto, Grenada, Holmes, Humphreys, Issaquena, Itawamba, Lafayette, Lee, Leflore, Lowndes, Marshall, Monroe, Montgomery, Noxubee, Oktibbeha, Panola, Prentiss, Pontotoc, Quitman, Sharkey, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, Tippah, Tishomingo, Tunica, Union, Washington, Webster, Winston, Yalobusha, and Yazoo.

Coastal Loblolly Pine

If you will be planting seedlings in the following counties, order Coastal Loblolly Pine:
Adams, Amite, Claiborne, Clarke, Copiah, Covington, Forrest, Franklin, George, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Hinds, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson Davis, Jefferson, Jones, Kemper, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Leake, Lincoln, Madison, Marion, Neshoba, Newton, Pearl River, Perry, Rankin, Scott, Simpson, Smith, Stone, Walthall, Warren, Wayne, and Wilkinson.