Last state tree nursery in West Virginia shutting down

West Virginia

MASON COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – This past year has raised some financial concerns for many state-led projects and with recent budget cuts, some just had to go.

West Virginia is known for being a state filled with scenic views covered in greenery. What’s helped keep the state green are those individuals who continue planting trees each year.

The Clements Tree Nursery, the only state-run nursery, is one of the projects that has been through many challenges. The nursery was closed down temporarily during the pandemic, but now, it’s being closed down for good.

State Division of Forestry Director Tom Cover explains the main reason for the closure was, for 15 years, the state was losing money off of the project.

The nursery was costing a great deal of money. It was losing money for the division. I can buy four brand new trucks with what money that nursery loses out there.

Tom Cover, WV State Division of Forestry Director

Cover also says he felt it was his “duty to state taxpayers” to close down the location. Another issue they found was the citizens of West Virginia were ultimately subsidizing the state of Ohio, which was never the division’s intention.

75% of the seedlings that were being sold were going to the state of Ohio. In fact, they closed their nurseries, they had three, and they closed because of the same reason.

Tom Cover, WV State Division of Forestry Director

The main question is “What will this decision affect?” Cover says those who were involved with maintaining the nursery have been given replacement jobs, so the impact is minimal.

This was the only state-run nursery in West Virginia, but Cover says, many private nurseries are still open for anyone interesting in planting new trees. For a complete list of these nurseries, click here.

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