We have been getting tons of calls from customers, wondering when they can stop by and buy some trees. As we were reminded yesterday, it is still a bit early in the season to plant. However, we have been busy at the nursery. The guys have been spading trees for a couple of weeks now and we have quite a few trees out of the ground. Crabapples are always first, as we have to get them balled before their buds unfurl. This year, we were also able to dig some of our Freeman maples and other shade trees early. Normally, we don't start spading trees until the first or second week in April.
My crew finished planting our first batch of shrubs on Monday. They are all neatly pruned and potted, waiting for a little warmth to really get them going. Already, many of the plants have swollen buds and a few even have small leaves. It is great to be able to go into the greenhouse to warm up. By the end of next week, plant juices will be flowing and leaves should be growing. Once that happens, we will be smelling the sugary scent of progress!
We have yet to uncover our over-wintered shrubs and perennials. Quite a few of the larger nurseries started that process a couple of weeks ago. However, they ended up having to re-cover more sensitive plants to protect them from our current conditions. That is a leisure we don't have. We simply don't have the labor or time to undo and redo. The wind out here on the range does not help when you are dealing with 60' long sheets of plastic either.
Every year, I gamble on our safe uncovering date. Typically, I call a few grower friends to see what they are doing before I get too carried away. This year, I went with my gut. For once, it paid off. I have screwed up plenty of times and no mistakes are small mistakes when you are dealing with thousands of plants. The earliest we have ever uncovered is the last week of March. I am waiting to see the long-range forecast to determine if we uncover next week or wait a little longer. Last year, we had a hard frost after our Spring Tree & Shrub Auction in mid-May. That little fact is etched in my memory because we lost a lot of apple trees that were just beginning to leaf out when the cold came. Mother Nature is a moody gal and I have learned to be tuned in to her feelings. We'll see what type of vibe she is giving off next week...
May - November
from 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
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