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How to Ship
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How to package and ship


As soon as samples have been adequately dried, collectors should ship the seeds to the North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station (NCRPIS) in Ames, Iowa and the vouchers to the National Arboretum and regional herbaria. Instructions on the shipment of vouchers follow below.


And if you have collected in (or you live in) an area within a Federal or State ash quarantine zone, your shipments of seeds and vouchers may require inspection and appropriate permits before shipment. Any permits that you received from APHIS or State regulatory officials must included within your shipment container. Please contact your APHIS State Plant Health Director for more details. A contact list is available at


Seeds should be removed from their pedicels before shipment. Seed samples contained in brown paper bags should be clearly labeled on the outside with black permanent marker along with a label on the inside. Occasionally, large amounts of seeds are obtained during collection and require additional bags. In such cases, please indicate the number of bags for each mother tree (e.g. 1 of 2, etc.). Please ensure that all samples are secure as they may encounter rough handling en route. It is recommended to ship samples via ground transportation as conditions within an airplane may be unfavorable during transport on certain airlines. Some airlines consistently maintain safe temperature and air pressure in their cargo bays, while others do not guarantee safe conditions without prior arrangements. Samples should be securely folded and stapled shut. Shipment should include the collection data form found in the Data Forms page. In addition, please email completed forms to Notification of an incoming shipment is greatly appreciated. Please avoid shipping near holidays.

If you are shipping via private carrier service, please ship seed samples to:

      USDA-ARS North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station
      Attn: Jeff Carstens
      1305 State Avenue
      Ames, IA 50014


If you are shipping via the US Postal Service, please ship seed samples to:

      USDA-ARS North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station
      Attn: Jeff Carstens
      Iowa State University
      G212 Agronomy Hall
      Ames, IA 50011-1170


We can cover the cost of shipping seed samples and data collection forms to the NCRPIS only if FedEx is used as the carrier. A FedEx account number will be supplied by Jeff Carstens upon request.

Once at the NCRPIS facility, collection data are entered into the NPGS's GRIN database, seed drying is completed, and the seeds are cleaned, their quality evaluated, digital images captured of both the seeds and collection forms. The seeds are then prepared for proper storage. Balanced, bulk samples from each collection area will be assembled at the NCRPIS and back-up samples transferred to the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation (NCGRP) in Fort Collins, CO for long-term conservation. After balanced bulks are created, the remaining seeds from individual mother trees will be kept as separate seed lots.


Once voucher labels have been created and attached to the dried specimens, they can immediately be shipped to the proper locations which would include the U.S. National Arboretum Herbarium and an active regional herbarium.

The U.S. National Arboretum Herbarium primary contact and mailining address:

 Robert Webster  U.S. National Arboretum Herbarium
 Email:  Attn: Robert Webster
 Phone: 202-245-4542  3501 New York Avenue NE
   Washington, D.C. 20705-2350


The cost of shipping herbarium specimens to the National Arboretum Herbarium can be covered only if FedEx is used as the carrier. A FedEx account number will be supplied by Robert Webster upon request.

Appropriate regional herbaria can be determined by contacting:

 Alan T. Whittemore  
 Phone: 202-245-4550  


If available, additional herbarium specimens can be given to the collecting team's local herbarium, otherwise duplicate specimen(s) can also be sent to either the national or regional herbarium.

Due to the fragile nature of voucher specimens, they should be packed with special care to avoid damage during shipment. Specimens should be protected by intercalating them between sheets of corrugated cardboard, and then bundled and the cardboards securely tied. The bundles should be wrapped in paper which is then taped. The bundles should be packed in a strong box, sized only slightly larger than the bundles to reduce shifting in transit. Any extra space in the box should be filled with packing peanuts, bubble wrap or similar materials. When shipping herbarium voucher specimens, please include a paper copy of the data collection form for each specimen along with a list of all the specimens being shipped. For each specimen, the corresponding label and data collection form should be paper clipped to its corresponding sheets of newsprint. An electronic version of the packing list should also be transmitted by email to:

     Robert Webster (, 
     Alan T. Whittemore (, and 
     Jeff Carstens (

Notification of an incoming shipment is recommended. Avoid shipping near holidays.