The state of urban seedling nurseries in the north-eastern region of Bangladesh is examined with a focus on production and profitability of the enterprises. Twenty-eight sample nurseries out of the 97 nursery enterprises in Sylhet town were selected at random, and operators personally interviewed. It was found that the entrepreneurs are not highly educated though they believed that a basic level of education is required to understand the management of young nursery stock. Labourers of various employment categories work in the enterprises and their wage is determined by their skill, gender and efficiency. Capital and operating costs vary among the enterprises according to land value, production capacity, infrastructure type and workforce size. Production capacity ranges from 10,000 to 5 M seedlings/year with an average 836,000, though actual average production is only 341,000 seedlings/year. The production cost per seedling ranges from Tk. 4 to 50 while sale value ranges from Tk. 10 to 60. The most frequently sold species are Acacia mangium, Swietenia macrophylla, Tectona grandis, Mangifera indica, Litchi chinensis and Cocos nucifera. Nursery techniques and cultural practices adopted by nursery operators depend on the type of species and its silvicultural requirement. Despite some problems, including lack of suitable land for nursery establishment and inadequate level of technical knowledge for high quality seedling management, it seems that production of tree seedlings is a promising profitable small-scale business in the study area.