Most seedlings and cuttings are field grown in the rich loam soil of the Fraser Valley near Chilliwack, British Columbia . The raised beds are seeded by a custom-built field seeder; only a few species are still seeded by hand. The first weeding is also by hand; then the seedlings are large enough to permit mechanical weeding with a row cultivator. In the fall, a specialized undercutter/lifter/shaker harvests the plants.
More difficult to propagate species are grown in plugs or tree pots in three greenhouses. This promotes a better root system and reduces transplant shock. Also, pot material is available for delivery year round, particularly useful for summer grafting. Shrub production is via softwood cutting propagation in a mist house. Material is either potted for year round sales, or lined-out in the field to be grown on and sold bare root when dormant.
Budding and grafting occurs summer and winter, in the greenhouse and in the field. Young grafts are available as potted plants year round. Whips and lightly branched trees are available bareroot while dormant, or potted up the rest of the year. We are expanding into pot-in-pot production so 5 and 7 gallon material will be available starting spring 2010.
Field harvesting, grading and shipping starts in the fall. Material is stored in a large commercial cooler or heeled in outside, depending on the species. The bulk of the material is shipped during March and April while still dormant.