We were lucky to get out to Oregon at the beginning of December to visit our supplier nurseries! We had great tours at J. Frank Schmidt Nursery, Carlton Plants, Robinson Nursery, & Kuenzi Nursery. It was exciting to get out into their fields for a change & see what is coming on and soon to be shipped to us in the coming years.
Our tour at J. Frank Schmidt was, as always, top notch! We got to tour both of their farms at Hood Acres & Barlow. At Hood acres, we were shown their propagation facility, seedling beds, greenhouses, container yard, B&B fields, and some liner fields as well. We even got to take a rainy stroll through the Schmidt Family Arboretum. Thanks to Nancy Buley & David Sheline for an excellent tour & hospitality! We took some great video which we will share soon in another post.
We value our relationship with Schmidt because they are really the leaders in new varietal development. We got to see many of these new trees in production at the Barlow farm to the south. Frank Jr. & Derek gave us the grand tour of the farm and showed us many new vareities in the pipeline at Schmidt. We got to see first hand some digging & grading. Many of those trees will be coming our way in March 2016. Thanks to all the folks at J. Frank Schmidt Nursery for some great tours!
Our time at Carlton Plants was equally impressive! Jason Bizon gave us an excellent tour of their tissue culture lab and their fields. This was our first tour of their new lab, and it was a real treat to see. We learned so much, and we were very impressed with the overall vision of Carlton Plants to make the investment in that area of their operation. We also got out into their field to see many of our trees in various stages of growth. They too were in the middle of digging & grading. We learned about their grading standards & saw first hand the attention to detail that Carlton Plants is so well know for. Thanks Jason, Jon, & Michelle for your time & hospitality while we were at Carlton!
At Robinson Nusery, we got to see their nursery in action as well. They have a great line of container trees grown in air pots. Ther trees get an excellent root system on them. We were happy to see a new line of some larger trees in the works for the future. They treated us to a great lunch at one of their favorite local spots. Thanks Josh & Chris for your gracious hospitality!
Myron Kuenzi was a great host at Kuenzi Turf & Nursery. Myron has a terrific product line of trees grown in root bags. We have had great success with his trees here in our field. After going through his nursery, we know why. He has a great growing method & obviously knows how to produce a quality tree – on top & below the ground!
Other nursery highlights were a tour of Northwest Shade Trees by Martin. What a fantastic nursery! They grow finished trees similar to ours. We were able to see many of the J. Frank Schmidt varieties in a larger size there so it was a valuable learning experience for us. Plus Martin is an excellent grower, so we had much to learn from him as well. Thanks Martin for taking some time out of your busy day to show us your fields!
Just to highlight what everyone really wants to know… here are some upcoming trees we discovered on our travels & are thinking about adding to our mix: Swedish Columnar Aspen, Starlight Crabapple, Purple Spire Crabapple, Main Street Maple, Sensation Maple, Green Whistper Bald Cypress, Javelin Pear, Metro Gold Maple… just a few new ones that caught our eye!
While in Oregon, we had to take advantage of some of the sights. We had a few fun days in Portland while also finding time to get out of the city & into the landscape. We hiked around the Columbia River Gorge area & took in the many beautiful sights & waterfalls there! We also made our way out to the coast for a windy & rainy view of the Pacific. Oregon is a beautiful state & we would recommend a visit!
Overall, our visit to our partner nurseries in Oregon was an invaluable experience for us. We came away from the trip with the sastisfaction of knowing that we have partnered with some great people in this businesses. The nurseries that we work with are top-notch. Their quality is the best there is in this business. But as with any business, they are only as good as the people who run them. Besides being excellent growers, all of our partners are great people with great employees. Many of the people we met on our tours have been with these nurseries for their whole career. That really says alot about the quality of these companies – quality plants & quality people. We are blessed to be in the business of growing trees, but we are even more blessed to grow some great relationships with awesome people!