With the nice weather of last week and this past week, chores around the nursery have been easy to accomplish. The plantings have still been going on in the botanical garden while about 3000 cuttings from Mexico and Guatemala have been stuck into their rooting plugs containing peat moss and some fine aggregate that will enhance root growth once it begins.
Branches have been easy to retrieve for the grave blanket business except for the prolific vines of poison ivy growing up the trunks of the pines. The cut Fraser Fir are quite fresh and sales have been somewhat brisk as many customers have tagged trees for later pick up or delivery. According to various news sources, trees will be in short supply this Christmas season as many growers that could not sell enough trees in the 2008 recession cut back their plantings which would have been ready to harvest today after 9 years of growth.
The Schmidt Nursery company in Oregon that is a large supplier of various bareroot trees had purchased 860 acres near Salem, Oregon but had abandoned their tree planting plans because of the recession. Unfortunately for trees, production cannot be ramped up quickly to meet demand as years are needed to grow them to a saleable size.
Willoway Nursery in Avon, Ohio was selling a large 2″ caliper tree in a huge 45 gallon container for $45 just to get rid of them. After a cost calculation, the company determined at that price for the tree, that they were actually losing money. Hundreds of these trees and elsewhere were piled up and burned as there was no market for them.
Poinsettia flower brackets have finally stopped expanding as the center flower comes into bloom. On some varieties, these flower brackets are the largest we have ever seen.
The overwintering huts were in need of water this past week making it necessary to reinsert the intake on the small water pump in order to be sure the stock is well saturated before an extreme cold blast that might damage the plants’ root system as the result of low soil moisture.
As the season progresses there is still much work to begin but winter is definitely somewhat of a respite compared to the growing season. Early February is the start of our winter seminars that serve to educate gardeners and help to pass those seemingly slow winter days.