Welcome to the John S. Ayton State Tree Nursery

Photo of the fields at the nursery and Forest Service logo.We produce millions of tree and shrub seedlings each year for reforestation and other plantings across Maryland and Delaware. We’ve been in the tree business for over 100 years, with our first nursery established at College Park in the early 1900’s. We are now located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore near the town of Preston and look forward to furnishing planting stock for many years to come.

Growing seedlings requires attention to nature’s schedule. Seed is harvested during late summer and the fall. Planting occurs during the fall and spring. We harvest and ship seedlings from late February to early May. All spring and summer we are watering, fertilizing and weeding the seedlings. It’s a never ending cycle of renewal that results in healthy, vigorous seedlings being planted across the state.

Whether you want to reforest timberland or create a windbreak, improve wildlife habitat or just enjoy the feeling of planting trees, we hope we can serve you.

Richard Garrett
Nursery Manager

The John S. Ayton State Tree Nursery is now sold out for the Season.

We are no longer taking orders for the spring 2024 planting season.

Please check back in mid-October when we will begin taking orders for spring 2025.

You can also sign up to be notified when we reopen next fall.

Picture of the Nursery Sign. Nursery Customer Service Survey

"Your prices and quality of seedlings is outstanding and your customer service is so good it is hard to believe you are a government agency."

Seed Collection

Contact: Richard Garrett, Ayton Nursery Manager at 410-673-2467​

John S. Ayton Tree Nursery