Story City Trees Forever will hold its 23rd-annual tree sale this Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at the former Lone Tree Nursery site.

Each tree will be priced at $45, which is a small portion of the actual value, said Mike Jensen, Story City Trees Forever president. The trees will be sold on a first-come basis with a limit of two per household until 11 a.m. After 11 a.m., residents may purchase additional trees.

There are a few stipulations with the tree purchases: All trees must be planted within the city limits of Story City, either on private property or city property.

Anyone wanting to plant on city property — such as the area outside the sidewalk — will need to obtain a permit at least one week prior to planting time; permits are free and available at City Hall. The permit process gives the city time to check for underground utility locations prior to any trees being planted.

This tree sale is made possible through a grant from Story City’s natural gas supplier, Black Hills Energy, and matching funds from the city of Story City.

The tree sale is more than a home improvement opportunity, however. It’s a community betterment project, according to Jensen.

“All funds raised from this sale will be used to plant and care for more trees in the Story City community,” he said.

Story City Trees Forever started in 1993 and has made a significant impact on the community over the decades.

The value of the group’s 2018 plantings alone added a total of $18,396 worth of trees, care and maintenance to city. That figure includes the work of 69 volunteers, who gave 461 hours of time to complete the projects in 2018 alone.

This brings Story City to a total of 2,818 trees planted since 1993, adding a total value of $487,886 worth of tree planting projects in value coming back to the community.

The annual tree sale, which is followed later in the spring by a community tree planting day, is one of the reasons Story City Trees Forever was recognized as an Outstanding Community Organization in Iowa. The local group received the prestigious award from the Iowa Urban Tree Council during its annual Community Forestry Awards Luncheon on April 3 at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in West Des Moines.

The award recognizes Story City Trees Forever’s efforts in promoting and enhancing tree resources in Iowa. The group was nominated by Leslie Berckes, innovation director for Trees Forever.

“I am proud of this group and what we have accomplished here in our community,” said Jensen.

Once again, this year, a large variety of trees — small, medium and large — will be available for sale.

“With the Emerald Ash Borer now taking its toll on our ash trees here in Story City, it is even more important that we plant many varieties of trees, throughout our community,” Jensen said. “Now is a great time to plant a new tree on your property for Energy Efficiency, beauty and increased property value.”



(Generally larger than 40 feet in height at maturity)

Heritage oak, swamp white oak, crimson oak, skyline honey locust, prairie expedition elm, St. Croix elm, hackberry, fall fiesta maple, autumn gold ginkgo, Redmond linden.


(Generally between 20 feet and 40 feet in height at maturity)

Red rocket maple, ironwood, northern red bud, showy mountain ash. (Please note: since press time, the espresso Kentucky coffee tree has been removed from this list.)


(Generally shorter than 20 feet in height at maturity)

Butterflies magnolia, centennial blush magnolia, perfect purple crabapple, red splendor crabapple, amber jubilee ninebark.