Landowners in Indiana are fortunate to have access to inexpensive, high quality tree and shrub seedlings from the Indiana DNR Division of Forestry nurseries. These seedlings are one and two year old bare-root plants intended for conservation plantings: windbreaks, wildlife habitat, reforestation, erosion control and other conservation uses. The seedlings are not to be planted for landscaping, Christmas trees, or resold as rooted stock. Seedlings are available in multiples of 100, or in packets containing a mixture of species for different planting purposes like native nuts, timber, or wildlife. You can access instructions for ordering and the order form with available tree species at http://www.in.gov/dnr/forestry/3620.htm
Demand for these seedlings is often high, so the nursery fills orders using a lottery drawing system. Orders submitted to the nursery by the third Friday in October randomly drawn and filled until the nursery runs out of stock or all orders are filled. Orders received after this date are filled first-come, first served with any remaining seedlings. The order form provides spaces for second, third and fourth choices when ordering seedlings, and I recommend you use those to increase your chances of receiving all the seedlings you need. As an example, you might want to plant white oak, but you could list chinkapin oak, bur oak and swamp chestnut oak as alternates in case the white oak sells out. If you have questions about species characterisitics the nurseries provide information at a link on the previously mentioned web page. Purdue also offers seedling planting advice in the following publication: Planting Forest Trees and Shrubs in Indiana - http://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/FNR/FNR-IDNR-36.pdf
Once your order is processed, you will be billed for the seedlings. Once paid, your seedlings are reserved for spring pickup at the nursery or you can have the seedlings shipped to you for an additional charge. Some Counties offer a local pickup service, so you may want to check with your county Extension Office or Soil and Water Conservation District to see if that is available in your area.
So if you would like to buy seedlings from the state forest nurseries, be sure to submit your order before October 19th and include alternative choices on your order form for the best chance of recieving what you need to complete your planting plans.
Resources: Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources Publcation List; Indiana Department of Natural Resources