The Art of Plant Propagation
In order to maintain a constant supply of evergreens, we begin a process called plant propagation every winter. In mid-December, we take small cuttings off of existing boxwoods, arborvitae, and taxus and stick them in a media mixture of 50% Perlite and 50% sand (Pic1). Trays are placed on heated benches under an automated misting system (Pic2). Ambient air is maintained between 45-50 degrees while the media rootzone is kept between 65-70 degrees in order to promote root growth but limit energy to top growth (Pic 3-4). We also extend daylight with artificial lighting. Once the cuttings have developed a strong root system, they will be removed from media mixture, root pruned, and potted up into 3-4” containers in April-May (Pic 5-6) where the cuttings will continue growing until Spring of 2025. (Pic 7-8) Then they will be lined out in the fields or shifted up in container size to continue growing. The time from cutting to harvestable size in the field can take anywhere from 3-8 years depending on plant variety and growth habit. Through hard wood plant propagation of roughly 20,000 plants at any time, we are able to ensure a continual stream of quality, locally grown trees and shrubs for decades to come.