How We Grow Our Plants

 

We have a core standard at Possibility Place when it comes to producing healthy plants and ensuring success for our customer- produce plants with the most robust fibrous root system possible.  In order to achieve this, our plants are taken through several growing steps that encourages the growth of fibrous roots. A plant with a fibrous root system not only transplants well but thrives.

After our seeds are collected, they 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, a process called "air pruning." This encourages the production of more roots. The seedling is then placed in plug or pint-sized container that mechanically directs the roots toward air holes. Roots grow through the air holes, and the root are again air pruned. For trees and shrubs, the plants are then planted into a 1 gallon or 5 gallon container to repeat the process again. This process of repeated air pruning produces a fibrous root system that is key to the establishment of vigorous growth of a plant.

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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