How We Grow Our Plants

 

After our seeds are collected, they are taken through several growing steps in a system that encourages fibrous roots. Seeds are put in flats with wire bottoms, then placed on benches with wire tops. As the seed germinates, the roots grow through the wire into air. The root tips dry out and die. This encourages the production of more roots. The seedling is then placed in half pints that mechanically direct the roots toward air holes. Roots grow through the air holes, and the root tips again dry out and die. Finally, the plants in half pints are then planted in gallon containers to repeat the process again. A fibrous root system is key to the establishment of vigorous growth of a plant. A tree or shrub with a fibrous root system not only transplants well but thrives.

Possibility Place Nursery does not use chemicals (such as copper) to get a fibrous root system. We avoid chemical use whenever possible. The nursery has not used an insecticide, miticide, or fungicide spray for 15 years. We do use post- and pre- emergent herbicides and organic and inorganic fertilizers.

All of our trees are grown in root bags that are either 12” (70 lbs) or 18” (150 lbs) by 12” deep. A tree transplanted with a root bag has 60-70% of its roots; the normal balled and burlapped tree has only 10-15%. When digging trees such as Green Ash and Honey Locust, balled and burlapped trees seem to transplant successfully. However, on trees such as oaks, a root bag significantly increases survivability. These bags must be removed before planting!

In general, our trees are lower branched than the industry standard. More branches provide more leaves, which allows the tree to produce food for itself through photosynthesis. We encourage our customers to leave all branches on at transplanting time and begin pruning the second year. In general, only 12 to 16 inches per year should be pruned. Since pruning of lower branches encourages top growth, over-aggressive pruning may result in a top-heavy tree and make staking necessary. Trees that become too top heavy may literally fall over! Staking is generally not required with our trees at transplant time because they are low branched.

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