Bargains on native landscaping at plant sale by the Snohomish Conservation District

  • Sun Jan 17th, 2010 10:57pm
  • News

By Andy Rathbun Herald Writer

MONROE — The Snohomish Conservation District plans to sell thousands of native trees and shrubs during the 25th anniversary of its spring plant event.

Homeowners often purchase 65,000 to 70,000 plants during the two-day tree and shrub sale, said Lois Ruskell, information and education coordinator for the conservation district.

“It’s a great way to get plants and to try them out,” Ruskell said. “They’re so inexpensive, if a couple of them don’t live, well, you can plant more.”

The sale will be March 5 and 6 at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds, but gardeners can make preorders now through Feb. 4, guaranteeing they get the plants they want.

The presale offers about 50 varieties of plants. Popular items include Douglas firs, Western red cedars, sword ferns and kinnikinnick, a low-growing shrub that can fend off weeds by covering broad sections of a lawn.

Granted, that kinnikinnick won’t cover the lawn immediately. The conservation district mostly sells plugs and other young sprigs. Most are about a foot high and ready to go in the dirt.

The conservation district buys its plants in bulk, so it can sell them at low prices. Ten noble firs cost $11.50. Five Pacific dogwood trees run $7.25.

Presale order forms are available at

Gardeners can pick up their orders during the March sale, where even more plants will be available.

That event acts as more than a marketplace. Volunteers and staff from the conservation district will try to cultivate greater awareness about the environment.

“It also helps us get information about native plants — how to use them, how to control erosion, how to provide more wildlife habitat,” Ruskell said.

Andy Rathbun: 425-339-3455,

Spring plant sale in Monroe

The Snohomish Conservation District will hold its 25th annual spring plant sale March 5 and 6 at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds, 14405 179th Ave. SE, Monroe. Homeowners can preorder their plants through Feb. 4 at

For more information, call the Snohomish Conservation District at 425-335-5634.