Forestry Department seeks buyer for former tree seedling nursery

The Oregon Department of Forestry

(ODF) is seeking potential buyers for the state’s former tree seedling nursery located near Elkton. The 113-acre former D.L. Phipps Forest Nursery property in Douglas County includes 87 acres of irrigated land and several buildings, including the nursery’s 36,000-square-foot production/office/cold storage building. The property is listed at a selling price of $2 million.

“This is a great opportunity for an agricultural or forestry business to expand,” said Robert McKee, Facilities Manager for ODF. “There are many infrastructure aspects already in place, and the history of the Phipps facility demonstrates it is capable of generating several million seedlings per season.”

ODF has contracted with RE/MAX Professional Realty of Roseburg to market the property. Inquiries about the Phipps Nursery may be directed to broker Jody Tatone at (541) 430-5430.

The property is irrigated from the adjacent Umpqua River with additional water irrigation rights from Galesburg Reservoir.

The nursery was opened in 1957 to provide Oregon forest landowners with an on-demand source for tree seedlings. At its peak, the nursery produced 16 million tree seedlings per year. Over several decades, sales at the Phipps nursery diminished due to changing market conditions, reduced timber harvest on federal lands and increased seedling availability from private-sector nursery sources. The Oregon Board of Forestry in 2006 directed ODF to pursue sale of the nursery. The nursery closed at the conclusion of the two-year seedling growing season in April 2008.

As required under state rules, ODF first sought to transfer the property under a public auction process in January 2008. Proposals received during that process did not meet minimum bid specifications. ODF also made efforts during the spring and summer of 2008 to negotiate a sale of the property. Once those options had been exhausted, ODF could then pursue selling the property through the commercial real estate market.

Additional information about the property offering is available from RE/MAX Professional Realty including listing information available on the company’s web site

Replanting trees is a crucial part of Oregon’s forest strategy. The Oregon Forest Practices Act requires replanting trees following timber harvest. According to the Oregon Forest Resources Institute, almost 40 million tree seedlings are planted in Oregon each year.


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