Growing High Quality Trees
We select our tree specimens based on their native growth habit and adaptability to USDA zones 5 and 6, but also on the uniqueness, beauty, and rareness of their availability. Our growing practices maintain high standards on tree quality and health, which is essential to growing top quality trees.
We are life-long growers and collectors who fully appreciate high-quality gardens, and beautiful landscapes.
"We will not sell any tree... that we personally would not buy."
All of our trees are either native to the Mid-Atlantic US, or those that grow well in USDA growing zones 5 and 6. Specialty tree collectors and customers will be delighted to find a selection of unique and rare trees that are propagated in the United States.
Our trees are spring fed from the Brandywine River Basin which originates just north of the nursery.
We use water conserving and highly-efficient drip irrigation systems for all of our larger trees. Drip irrigation uses up to 60% less water than conventional watering methods, and only places the water directly where it is needed.
In addition, we use the industry's leading water retaining, root pruning Rootmaker Rootrapper II tree bags, which conserve much of the drip irrigation water even in our custom organic growing mix.
We also use overhead spraying in our high-density production fields for our smaller first and second year potted seedlings. Our mineral rich spring water is also full of the important micro-nutrients that are very beneficial to a tree's healthy establishment and long-term health.
Our nursery is 100% pesticide-free, and herbicide-free. We use natural 'OMRI certified organic' solutions to effectively control disease and harmful insects. We have had very good success with these certified organic practices.
We also have a very healthy indigenous and diverse bird population that greatly helps in the natural control of insect pests.
To manage weeds we use a close fitting fibrous root cap which covers the top of the tree bags and pots, significantly reducing water loss by over 50%, and also preventing weed growth.
And, yes we still pull many hundreds of weeds manually by hand.
The Real Benefit:
The ultimate benefit of our Growing Practices is that all of our root-pruned certified trees have truly exceptional root systems that ultimately benefit our trees, and our customers. They quickly establish in their new planting location with little-to-no transplant shock... from March through December!
Our trees go through one to three root-pruning potting upstages (labor intensive, and re-potted by hand). We do buy a few hard-to-find specimens as bare root stock that may only go through a single root pruning stage. These will not have the extensive root systems of our other trees, but they will still be exceptional hard-to-find, and healthy tree specimens.
Our Rootmaker 'Platinum Certified' root-pruned trees are chock full of 'many hundreds' of healthy feeder roots that will enable our trees to quickly establish and grow into larger and healthy specimen-quality trees that every customer desires.