Missoula Urban Forest Gravel Bed and Bare-Root Tree Nursery

An answer to two different needs.

Need One: Trees for Missoula (TFM) volunteers and other local groups wanted to plant trees, but planting trees in the Missoula valley can be difficult – from glacial rock to clay. Because larger trees are required to be planted on streets and in parks, they usually came in large containers or ball and burlap (BB) requiring large equipment to dig the holes.

Need Two: The City of Missoula Urban Forestry Division (UF) needed to find a more cost-efficient supply of trees, since thousands will need to be planted in the coming years.

The Answer: Bare-root trees heeled into a gravel bed. Bare-root trees do not require huge, machine-made planting holes and are about ¼ the cost of traditional containerized or BB trees.

In 2016, TFM and UF partnered to build a gravel bed to hold bare-root trees at Missoula’s Wastewater Treatment Facility (MWTF). It began with one gravel bed and 60 trees that arrived in early April. By late September, the trees’ fibrous root systems had fully developed and were ready for the volunteers to plant. 

Missoula Urban Forest Gravel Bed is funded by:

TFM-donated gravel, sand, equipment rental and irrigation materials

MWTF-provided space

MDT-donated decommissioned jersey barriers

UF-purchased bare-root trees