Immediately prior to making a well-received presentation at the “Chesapeake Green 2018” annual horticultural symposium in Maryland, USA, in late February 2018, Barcham Trees’ Keith Sacre visited two nurseries in the state which specialise in growing B&B (balled and burlapped/field-grow) trees.
Steve Black of Raemelton Farm, Adamstown, explained to him how in 2016 he introduced to the market USDA-certified organic landscape-ready trees – a first for the industry in the USA. “Consumers are increasingly interested in how things they buy are produced. We have been using many of the practices required for organic production for years, such as using cover crops and compost, and having an integrated pest-management programme”, he said. “We are not spending more man-hours in the organic field than in the conventional field, but we spend a lot more time thinking about organic production and just figuring things out. For instance, weed control is one of the toughest parts to tackle in organic production”.
Keith Sacre also visited Laytonsville-based Ruppert Nurseries, founded by brothers Craig and Chris Ruppert in 1990. While operating its 600-acre nursery is its core business, the company also provides customers with tree-related services, such as lifting and installing or transplanting larger trees with a tree spade for contractors, architects and property owners. ” I was impressed by the dedication to producing high-quality trees, pest and disease management practices and general staff skills at both Maryland nurseries”, comments Sacre.