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Where have all the trees gone?

Anyone with their ear or at least shovel to the ground in the Landscape industry is acutely aware the shortage of Nursery trees. This phenomenon has trickled down all the way to the consumer level, leaving many frustrated as they have not been able to find their favorite or best choice for landscaping projects.

 

To better understand today’s market shortage a little history lesson is needed. The housing boom in North America which took place as the new millennium was unfolding created great demand for nursery stock. Landscape architects and developers were looking for stock to accent new homes. Nurseries responded with a frenzy of investment in planting new stock into their fields. Few imagined how big of a bubble was about to burst. The financial crisis that crippled the North American economy beginning in 2008 deflated the economy which trickled down through every sector.

 

With it taking up to 10 years to produce a quality nursery tree, millions of dollars had been invested to meet market demand. When the market went flat there was an abundance of trees in the ground, and without sales something had to give way. Nurseries started burning trees that were now oversized for market and without substantial sales they could not afford to plant out new stock. Sadly, there were many nurseries that did not survive the downturn. Even the largest and most successful operations sold off land or closed altogether. It became survival mode for the nursery industry.

 

Having suffered a painful lesson, many nurseries are carrying on in business with a smaller scale of operation. This has created a leaner availability of trees. To add insult to injury, the Emerald Ash Borer invasion into our area has put more pressure on the demand for trees. With all the Ash trees disappearing landscapers and municipalities are creating even more demand. Unfortunately now, we no longer have Ash trees to help fill the void. Adding to the supply crisis is the invasive designation to Norway Maples which has taken place in recent years.

 

At Environs Wholesale Nursery we are up for the challenge! We are making significant investment into our operation to meet the demand of our customers. Each day we are looking for new ways to increase our inventory, and more importantly to take the quality of our plant material to the next level. Environs exists to provide the best quality nursery stock that is readily available for our customers. Over the coming months look for more updates as we work tirelessly to serve you.

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