What's New and Exciting?

Pickup Only 2020 — 05/15/2020

May, 2020 

Dear Friends,

Seems like early April was ages ago, given the constant drumbeat of negative news on the virus and unemployment numbers. So we want to give you a detailed update from Heritage …

Here, we insist that each staff member:

  1. Wash hands before leaving home
  2. Wear mask when commuting to work - if more than 1 per vehicle
  3. Wash hands when arriving on nursery property
  4. Before starting work, meet with supervisors to review work and how to maintain separation, wear PPE
  5. Keep 6-feet separation within small workgroups; clear poly barriers on transplanters where 6-foot separation is not possible
  6. Records all whom he/she encounters daily
  7. Wear masks all day when not eating or drinking; breaks not in communal areas with more than several crew in proximity
  8. Wash hands frequently, at least every break and lunch period
  9. Sanitize all common-use areas- lunch and bathroom facilities; doors, equipment handles, buttons, knobs, steering wheels
  10. Wash hands before departing work for home; masks mandatory on commute home

The same small workgroups work together daily. This facilitates tracing if someone becomes ill. So far, we’ve found these measures effective. We continue otherwise normal operations.

The good news:

  • We were initially anxious that we might have a rash of slow-pays, but accounts receivable - no problems at all.
  • Our sense is that among almost all in the trade, the mood is cautiously optimistic.
  • A surprising number of our customers are ordering already for fall, verifying that we’ll have product for them, securing their needs early to be assured of that. Generally these are our larger clients.
  • The nursery business seems to have benefited from people staying home, fixing up the house, gardening, and doing long-put-off maintenance around the house. That’s true at our own home, where Jolly and I spend more time communicating with managers by email and phone. Our garden has never looked so well kept and we’ve planted dozens of our newer varieties around the house. Mark and Jolly are more involved with managers than ever, investing in constant improvements, new variety development, and report analyses with key managers.
  • The company is in very capable hands, even if we are out for weeks at a time. Our managers work collaboratively in a very tight-knit communication culture and appreciate each other’s unique skill set and clear areas of management authority.

We want to reassure you that we are all-in this season, transplanting a record number of liners from plugs and smaller liners from last year’s crop so you’ll have a plentiful supply of items in several sizes. We’ve continued to replace outdated equipment, renovate our entire softwood cutting bench operation, irrigators in greenhouses, nozzles and valves in hoops, and keeping up with sanitary measures so you don’t get weeds or pests with our product. We’re upgrading staff training all the time and feel we now have our best group of managers and crew ever. Moreover, we have brought back more than a hundred items that we used to grow, but dropped in recent years due to limited sales. We’ll offer these “Connoisseur Plants” in limited quantities of 750 to 1,500 each. So look for that list later this summer and get your order in early for any that jump off the page. We’ll introduce quite a few new plants of our own selection in the seasons to come – columnar forms or unique items that have no trade equivalent.

This is an exciting place to work. We appreciate our staff and our customers; we love the plants, and Oregon is the perfect environment for us to operate. So even in more isolated circumstances now, we find ourselves looking up occasionally and musing, “Does life get better than this?” Maybe. We all work for that prospect. So we count our many blessings, thank our staff daily, thank you for your trust and your business, and wish each of you well.

What can we do for YOU? Peruse this list and let us know. Call or write, and book your order for fall or next spring. We’ll keep you updated via email, our website, and phone.

Kind regards,

Mark, Jolly & Staff

April 6th 2020 Availability — 04/06/2020

April 6, 2020

Dear Friends,

How can we stay at home and still operate a nursery or garden center?

We rely on our own wisdom and experience, those same skills we’ve honed over the years, those that helped us manage since we started. The virus has not stolen our talents and experience. We survived all the challenges of the ’08 economic calamity and persisted. We know what to do if we continue what we do best, not get too rattled. It seems we ought to just take a deep breath and trust ourselves and our staff - to manage our budgets thoughtfully, to keep investing wisely in our businesses.

As we plan for days and weeks ahead, we’re wise to prepare ALSO for realities 12-18 months from now. Demand is unlikely to evaporate. Business will be conducted differently, and those with foresight will be selling trees and shrubs. People find comfort in plants and gardening no matter what the economy does. Plants are part of peoples’ comfort zone, and home is where we put most of them. Gardening is a welcome relief from the continuous virus news, so at retail we expect to see continued good demand.

So as we move into the summer season, think about your available labor, how you might see just far enough ahead to prepare for opportunity next season and a few years down the road. With a nominal investment in young trees and shrub liners, apply your experience to manage them efficiently through the summer months in prep for an active fall season and spring ’21. 

Keep your pipeline stocked with enough of a variety of plants at modest prices to avoid a major shortage. We have plugs and bareroot plants to shift up. In the field, you can line out sizes from MP and 3/16” all the way to larger 3/8” or LP sizes to grow on.

Call us if you need some help deciding what might fit best, and THANKS for your business!

Keep well.

Mark, Jolly, and Staff 

Balanced Perspective COVID-19 — 04/06/2020

March 23, 2020

Dear Friends,

As we weigh risks with labor availability, uncertainty about shipping, and how long this confusing mess will last, let’s just take a deep breath and reassure ourselves over morning coffee:

  1. We’re not restaurants, airlines or cruise ships that may face financial collapse if they can’t fund fixed costs when their business is closed or operating at a tiny fraction of capacity.
  2. Once this virus thing dies down, as it surely will, restaurants that survive will be packed. People will be itchy to go out for dinner and a bottle of vino. Those that figure out how to survive will have an hour wait for tables, not the walk-in experience we’re accustomed to. Resorts will be PACKED with those who foresaw the opportunity to book early at a favorable rate. We’ll ache to be indulged a bit after all this stress and anxiety. And cash will be all over the place, bidding up prices from among a diminished selection of suppliers.
  3. Most of the urban population that depends on us in agriculture has a notion of how important we are to not just survival, but also to social health. Plants and trees ground us; without them we feel lost.We need that outdoor connection, that plant connection, to feel human. This is auspicious for our craft.

Upheaval, yes. It is happening. But we can’t get turned upside down without our own active participation. So my message is simple to myself, our staff, and all of us:

Remember the fundamentals. We know

  • our crop cycles and inputs
  • what product mix and turn times it takes for us to make money
  • If there’s no new input, no liners to keep your production system primed, it will dry up.
  • If our crop availability slows or stops, will that be about the time demand is again picking up? Can we afford to “pay twice” for this mess?
  • It’s important to keep a prudent supply flow going IF you plan for your business to survive.

We’re committed to being your go-to liner supplier, and we won’t fail you on that count now. We’re partners in this, but we can’t get rattled just because it’s harder now to make a buck.

Tell us how we can help you.

Kind regards,

Mark & Jolly

Last Call 2020 — 04/06/2020

March 2020

Dear Friends, 

While the Country adapts to virus headlines and stock market turmoil, most of us realize that we just have to just be cautious and aware, mindful of our personal space, and considerate of others. We can’t depend on federal or state officials to do for us what we can and must do for ourselves, for each other - at home and work.

Fundamentals remain – our staff skills, facilities, and our work partners. Some fundamentals to consider in our business relationship:

  • UPS Is it safe to accept delivered packages? Both the WHO and CDC state that the likelihood of Coronavirus contaminating cardboard or other shipping containers is low.
  • Production plans As we plant new crop seed and field transplants, bud and stake a full, new crop menu, we’re committed to a normal production season. Fact is, we’ve re-introduced dozens of unusual varieties and species that we dropped in recent years due to limited demand. Look for those on our new Connoisseur Trees and Shrubs list in coming seasons. Count on us to supply you, and protect your critical woody liner needs with our standing order option.
  • Opportunity This re-set in the economy moves us all to refine production and sales goals, sharpen focus on profitable items, and strengthen our nursery partnership. We commit to being your finest liner grower, nothing less.
  • Gratitude In this “craft” of growing plants, let’s remember how amazingly fortunate we are. We must be informed. But we can look up from the news, refresh our minds with a walk around the nursery or GC, get away from our desktops. We’re reminded each time of our hands in making our urban spaces and homes more beautiful, cooler, and refreshing. Our products are a comfort to all people, a comfort to us. In a world that desperately needs more trees, we’re mighty good at growing and delivering them.

Have a final look at this list and let us know if we can add a few items. THANKS for your business, and let us know here if we can help you out. We’re here for you.

Kind regards, 

Mark, Jolly & Staff

March 2020 Focus Plants — 03/06/2020

Mahonia x media 'Winter Sun'

Evergreen shrub with rich forest-green foliage to accent its bright yellow early winter flowers. Upright growth and drought/shade tolerance make this a great focal plant when winter's arrival means fewer possibilities to brighten the garden. Offers bloom succession after 'Charity'.

Betula nigra Northern Tribute®

This is proving to be the most adaptable river birch to dry and alkaline soil conditions in addition to be completely hardy in zone 3. So, no die back from winter injury and no iron chlorosis or the mortality that can cause. The parent tree is the largest of this species observed in the upper Northern Plains; it has a proven track record of over 40 years. Ivory colored with striking coppery-bronze exfoliations the bark is appealing year round. Resistant to borers as well.

February 2020 Focus Plants — 02/13/2020

Valentine’s Day 2020 

Dear Friends,

Our XP liner is a quick-to-root-in, transplant shock-free way to bring in popular oakleaf hydrangeas.

We offer some of the most popular varieties so you an pot them up and get them out the door profitably this spring or fall, depending on what pot you prefer.

Note that a liquid quart volume measures almost 58 cubic inches, and our XP liner is about measures well over 90 cubic inches, so you have a sense of its size. Perfect for a #2-3 pot, depending on the variety you select and your price point and timing ideas for re-sale.

These are remarkably tough liners and although it is best to receive them dormant soon, you can also easily order them for delivery a bit later. We can trim to your specs before packing and they’ll bud up and explode from a shorter top if you wish, since the root system will be pushing them hard with new buds.

Let us know if you’d like a trial amount of several varieties or a full order, and we’ll go to work for you.

Kind regards,

Mark, Jolly & Staff

February 2020 Availability — 04/06/2020

February 2020

Dear Friends, 

Judging from this year’s robust trade show in Baltimore, our industry is enjoying exceptional health. SALES are what makes payroll, so our challenge is to balance immediate profit opportunity with longer-term investments that position us favorably 3-5+ years out. 

We have to see around corners, don’t we? How might Heritage help your leadership team? 

  1. Reliability – do your liner suppliers deliver what they commit to? We aren’t perfect. But you can always rely on us to do the right thing, to communicate with you well ahead of time IF we can’t deliver what you need. Contract with us, arrange your order as far ahead as you reasonably can, so we get you into the priority line for your essentials. When a movie’s popular, you have to order tickets ahead or get in line early for a good seat.
  2. Selection among hundreds of unusual woodies – where else can you find dozens of kinds of magnolias, maples, ginkgoes, oaks and hornbeams? The big branded programs offer a lot, but survey those that offer woody liners, and you’ll find we’re at the top in selection of the best in new woody varieties and those that are tried and true.
  3. Courtesy and follow-up Too few companies make the effort to simply put integrity and courtesy as priorities – starting with employees. Our staff know we care about THEM, not just their work. That shows in their response timeliness and the courtesy with which we handle your orders and inquiries, your payments and shipping arrangements.
  4. Is quality even a sales criterion in this market? Any outfit lacking top-notch product isn’t a real supplier. If you haven’t tried us out, verify. Ask around ... ask for pics or samples, particularly of our transplant and plug-grown root systems. As we get into the excitement of shipping, make this season your best ever. We’ll be your partner in success. Count on it.


Mark, Jolly, & Staff

January Focus Plants — 01/06/2020

Acer palmatum 'Twombly's Red Sentinel'

This Ken Twombly introduction has a unique narrow upright shape, attractive in many situations where space is limited, particularly close to a building or walkway. Plants in our landscape are more appealing with each passing season. It remains a strong maroon color all summer long here in NW Oregon.

Acer pseudoplatanus 'Esk Sunset'

"Variegated" doesn't begin to describe this extraordinary cultivar of a species that generally lacks ornamental merit. In addition to the leaves being purple beneath, they're a kaleidoscope of astonishing variegation throughout. It doesn't burn in full sun, and is exceptionally drought resistant and cold hardy. Whether placed as an accent against larger, darker trees, or as a specimen up front, it will elicit comments from all who enjoy seeing it for the first time. This goes on your 'buy list'. Make sure of it, OK? You'll be back for more.

 — 04/06/2020

Dec/Jan ’19-20

Dear Friends,

As we reckon with the holidays and impending trade show season, what matters most is just keeping our priorities straight ... family and friends and showing appreciation for all our many blessings well after Thanksgiving has passed. One doesn’t have to travel far to note that in this country we enjoy a lot of benefits others only dream of, or cannot hope for due to circumstances way beyond their control.

Among our blessings are you, our many customers who order annually, who depend on us for unusual liners and those unusually well-grown. We aim to earn that trust with every order. When we occasionally don’t meet that goal, we depend on you to let us know right away so we always maintain that integrity of “doing the right thing”. YOU make us better every year. We depend on new, young managers to ask questions of even the most basic stuff so we learn new perspectives from them, too. This is a complex business, a craft, and each of us is a life-long apprentice, right?

We hope to see many of you at MANTS in Baltimore, but the booth is always busy, so please stop by if we don’t make it to your own booth, or see you to say, “THANKS” for your orders, your trust, and your friendship over the past 38 years. If we don’t see you, please let us know what we can do to help you out this winter season.

Finally, you may have noticed we’ve expanded production quite a lot in the recent year with our commitment to deliver what you order. It’s impossible to foresee all increases in demand, but rest assured that we aim to bump our own sales and get you covered.

To that end, the MOST IMPORTANT single thing you can do to help yourself is to put your order into a STANDING ORDER basis. Call our office to arrange this simple matter. It vaults you to the front of the line priority on your required items, is flexible to make changes later, and has no downsides.

Have a safe and blessed holiday season

Mark, Jolly, and Staff

December 2020 Focus Plant — 12/09/2019

Cornus kousa x nuttallii Venus® 'KN 30-8'

A Rutgers selection with huge white flowers, foliage resistant to the leaf diseases that plague seedling flowering dogwoods. Here in Oregon, our stock plants flower for a month starting in early to mid-May. Its exceptional vigor can result in too-leggy growth, even with routine fertilizer use. Manage nitrogen application conservatively. 

Ginkgo biloba 'Mariken'

Stiffly horizontal, this male is a dwarf shrubby form that grows
3-4 ft. tall x 5-8 ft. wide over 10 yrs.