We grow a large part of our trees from seed or cuttings that we select by spending countless hours in the woods and working with foresters and tree enthusiasts to locate stands of seed trees that are thriving and have outstanding structure. We purchase trees that we do not start ourselves as seedlings or as liners from the best specialty growers with all of whom we have a long-standing relationship. Every tree spends at least two years on site before it is sold, so you can be sure of getting a well acclimatized tree.
We follow a method of producing trees developed by Dr. Carl Whitcomb, the leading American expert on horticultural production, author of many books on tree nursery management and expert consultant to Rootmaker, www.rootmaker.com, a US horticultural products manufacturer producing specialized in-ground root control bags and air-pruning containers patented by Dr. Whitcomb. We consult Dr. Whitcomb’s regularly on any questions relating to our production system and his sage advice has been tremendously helpful to us over the years.
We start our seedlings in Rootmaker air pruning containers that have special ridges and openings that direct roots outward and into slots that air-prune roots that would otherwise circle inside the container.
We then move the trees either into larger Rootmaker air pruning containers where the trees are held until they are sold, or we plant the trees in the field, into Rootmaker’s in-ground root control bags.
Rootmaker’s in-ground root control bags are made from special, strong mesh fabric with 1/8” holes, designed to contain much of the root structure of the plant within the bag, yet allowing the small hair roots to grow out of the bag. This allows the roots to fan out and grow naturally and eliminates circling roots – a major problem with trees grown in containers.
After ten years of using Rootmaker in-ground root control bags, we strongly believe that they are simply the best system for producing trees. Let us highlight the advantages of this system:
Our production method is so called “marriage of cultural practices”, because we use both containers and field production to grow our trees. We always start our seedlings in Rootmaker © air pruning containers inside the greenhouse and then transplant them into in-ground root control bags in the field. That is when we work on development of the crown and give the stem time to thicken and develop a taper that is one of the indicators of a tree with a sound root system. Trees that have developed the requisite structure can be sold directly from the field, inside the root control bag, potted in a large plastic container that facilitates transport and handling or placed in above-ground containers produced by Rootmaker © and held in inventory.
We also transplant some of our trees from Rootmaker © containers into the field without root control bags. We grow these trees into large caliper trees that will not fit into a standard container. These trees need be root pruned annually and are eventually lifted by one of our two tree spades, packaged in burlap, placed in a wire baskets and sold as “ball and burlap” or “B&B” trees.
Nothing gives a tree the nutrients needed to grow and develop good structure like really good soil. Growing trees in the field, in real soil, also exposes the trees to local microorganisms and elements. The trees build a strong stem and branches as they flex in the wind and grow up to look entirely different than trees produced in a container. Trees that spend a few years in our field will not go into shock when transplanted elsewhere in the harsh Maritime environment, as can happen with trees imported from more Southerly zones.
You can search for a tree by browsing the appropriate Category of trees, search using the Common or Botanical Name or by inputting the Attributes you would like your tree to have and finding the appropriate species.
We have simplified searching our inventory by grouping our trees into the following categories, with each category furthermore showing the genus (i.e. maple) and species within the genus (i.e. sugar maple):
Deciduous Trees – leafy shade trees
Conifers – trees carrying needles rather than leaves
Native Trees – trees identified as being native to PEI or other parts of Canada
Small, Medium and Columnar Trees – trees below 35’/12m in height at maturity
Flowering Trees – Trees usually purchased because of its flowers and Fruit Trees
Shrubs – shrubs including multi-stemmed small trees
You can also search for a tree by searching under its common or botanical name, using the Search function. We have done our best to include in the description of our trees all information you should need to select the tree that will meet your wishes and able be most suitable for your site.
If you do not have a specific tree in mind but know what attributes the tree will need to meet, you inserting these attributes, such as soil preference, type of tolerance and hardiness level, into the plant finder system on Prince Edward Island’s Forest, Fish and Wildlife Division and it will be produce a recommendation, see https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/service/search-pei-tree-and-shrub-database….or you can contact us and we will be glad to help!
Ornamental or landscape trees are generally considered trees that are planted primarily for their aesthetic value.
Ornamental or landscape trees are usually not native to the area where they are being planted but were brought in from other regions because of their decorative value. A large number of non-native trees perform well in our climate but some may require planting in a location that will provide shelter from the wind or salt or in a warm microclimate. Any such requirement will be noted in the description of the tree provided.
A native tree is a tree that occurs naturally in a defined area, is prevalent there and was not introduced by man.
Not all trees that are native to Canada are native to Prince Edward Island. Our inventory listing clearly shows which trees are native to PEI and which are native to other parts of Canada. A number of species that are native to the Nova Scotia and New Brunswick will thrive on PEI, but that may not be case with every tree that is native to Southern Ontario, for instance.
The trees that are considered to be native to PEI are listed in the classic work by J.F. Gaudet and W.M. Profitt , “Native Trees of Prince Edward Island and the More Common Woodland Shrubs”, PEI Dept of Agriculture, 1958, see http://www.gov.pe.ca/photos/original/af_nativetrees.pdf or can be identified through a search on http://www.gov.pe.ca/treesandshrubs/search.php3
Planting a native tree bring with it many advantages:
Many species of non-native trees have proven to perform well on PEI but some are invasive and tend to spread excessively (examples are Norway maples and Amur maple). Some are susceptible to frost cracking or various diseases such as tar spot. Some produce fruit that is however inedible for wildlife. Caution must therefore be exercised in choosing a non-native tree.
Not surprisingly, the trend in many municipalities in Canada is to plant native trees. We agree, although we also believe that some exceptions should exist.
We also believe that specifically developed cultivars of native trees are ideal for horticultural applications, see below “Cultivars vs. Trees Propagated by Seed”. Cultivars were selected for certain specific outstanding attributes and are propagates by various types of cloning and thus can deliver the type of consistency that nature does not provide in native trees that were grown from seed.
As global warming continues and some of our trees will struggle, we also believe that we need to consider planting trees from adjacent and more temperate zones.
As mentioned above, native trees are most frequently grown from seed. There can be considerable genetic variability between the individual seedlings from different seed trees or even within seedlings from the seed of the same tree. That can be an issue for a customer seeking consistency, uniformity and predictability of size, structure, shape, etc. But the nurserymen have found an answer – develop and vegetative propagate cultivars of the trees with the sought-after attributes.
A “cultivar” is an abbreviation of the term “cultivated variety” of a native or non-native plant, that was specifically developed or selected from nature to isolate a specimen with some desirable characteristics, such as size, shape (i.e. columnar), leaf color, resistance to drought, diseases etc. To ensure all the desirable characteristics are maintained, cultivars are propagated vegetatively, i.e. by cuttings, grafting/budding or tissue culture. When you purchase a cultivar of a plant you will know exactly what you will get when the plant matures, unlike with a plant that was propagated by seed, where the mixing of parents’ genes can result in variability of attributes in the offspring.
You can tell a cultivar because in addition to the name of the genus and species, it carries a given name in parenthesis such as “Acer rubrum ‘Autumn Blaze’”, (a cultivar of a native red maple selected for having a strong leader and brilliantly red-colored leaves in the fall) or “Acer platanoides ‘Crimson King’”, (a cultivar of the non-native Norway maple, selected for its well-known purple leaves). Cultivars may be subject to a patent and often we pay a royalty for these trees.
We strongly recommend that all our customers consider purchasing cultivars of the species they like and preferably that they purchase cultivars of native species. That way they will be sure of getting a tree having the precise size, structure and attributes they seek.
We consider cultivars of native trees an absolutely perfect solution to the dilemma between wanting to plant native trees but also wishing to have consistency and predictability of size, shape, color etc. of the purchased stock.
To be sure, trees grown from seed are entirely fine and thousands of our seed grown trees are prospering all around the Maritimes. Seed-grown trees are usually slightly cheaper than cultivars as they are easier to produce and no royalty is payable for them. As we mostly sell trees that already have a defined structure, one can get a good indication of the attributes of the seed grown trees as well, but some element of variability within the norm for the species will be present. But nature does not produce uniformity and that is a part of the beauty of trees!
We sell trees packaged in the following packaging:
The size of the packaging used in relation to the size of the tree are given by the Standards and we show the size of the trees on our price list.
Prices appearing on our website are subject to change at any time.
Our prices are FOB nursery and HST will be charged on all sales, including delivery and transport charges, made to PEI, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland. GST will be charged on sales to other Provinces. Our responsibility ends with loading the stock onto your vehicle.
Payment is by cash, cheque, bank transfer, debit or credit card.
Our hours of business are 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. Aarrangements can be made to view and tag the trees and pick up orders outside these hours.
We guarantee all stock to be true to name and to be in good condition when leaving the nursery. All other guarantees and warranties, express or implied, are hereby excluded.