Download the compiled Great Basin Factsheet Series 2016: Information and tools to conserve and restore Great Basin ecosystems.

For hard copies of the compilation, contact Génie MontBlanc, Great Basin Fire Science Exchange Coordinator, at (775) 784-1107 or

Establishing Big Sagebrush and Other Shrubs from Planting Stock

July 16, 2015

Great Basin Fact Sheet No. 8: Establishing Big Sagebrush and Other Shrubs from Planting Stock

By: Nancy L. Shaw, Anne Halford, and J. Kent McAdoo


Reestablishment of big sagebrush and associated native shrubs following wildfire or other disturbance is critical to facilitate vegetation recovery and to provide community structure
and services. Bareroot or container seedlings can be used to quickly re-establish big sagebrush and other native shrubs in situations where direct seeding is not feasible or unlikely to succeed. The fact sheet below provides guidelines for developing a planting plan and timeline, arranging for seedling production, and installing and managing outplantings.

In Brief:

  • The use of seedlings can avoid problems like adverse environmental conditions, competition from herbaceous plants, and unsuccessful seedings.
  • Knowing your site is key, including information about vegetation composition, slope, aspect, and soil conditions.
  • Selecting nurseries based on experience with the target species, type of planting stock required, and location relative to the planting site is essential.
  • Proper planting technique and root placement is critical to the long-term survival and growth of bareroot seedlings.

Click here or on the image below to download a PDF of the full fact sheet.

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This factsheet is part of the Great Basin Fact Sheet Series compiled collaboratively by WAFWA, USFS, BLM, NRCS, RMRS, ARS, USGS, and FWS. The series provides land managers with brief summaries of current science concepts and management strategies related to conservation and restoration of the sagebrush sea.


The Sage Grouse Initiative is a partnership-based, science-driven effort that uses voluntary incentives to proactively conserve America’s western rangelands, wildlife, and rural way of life. This initiative is part of Working Lands For Wildlife, which is led by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.