Generally speaking, plants are grown in two ways:
- Container-grown plants are growing in plastic containers and typically refer to smaller plants like perennials, young shrubs, and young trees.
- Field-grown plants, like we’re discussing here, refer to older, more mature plants, which are typically born on our farm in fields. We care for them (sometimes for up to 10+ years) before they’re ready to get installed in your yard.
Read Understanding Nursery Stock Sizes or Container Grown Trees to dig deeper into that topic. But first, we need to harvest them from our fields before they can make their way to your landscape.
Field-grown trees, shrubs, and evergreens have certain times of the year when they’ll tolerate having their roots cut for harvesting. After all, they’ve been sitting comfortably, getting acclimated to the field for years. Not all plants are the same, and harvest dates are often plant-specific. Once we wrap the roots in burlap and a wire cage, plant them any time the ground is completely frozen. Or, they can sit above ground under our care until they transfer to your yard.
Why does this matter to you? Many folks are OK with younger trees in containers, while many prefer larger trees with more instant gratification. Harvest windows affect the availability of larger (more mature) trees. If a certain plant (i.e. Birch) only tolerates harvesting in April, then our inventory can only include what was dug during that window. If we sell out of that tree, ask about pre-ordering that plant for next season’s harvest, or ask about Container Grown Trees.