After months of deciding the best way to make our current availability accessible to our customers, we are happy to announce it is ready to go! Just click the “Inventory” button on www.urbanforestnursery.com, and you will see a list of the varieties we sell, as well as what sizes are available. Although we started on this adventure a c0uple of years ago with a purchased solution; in the end, we found that a homegrown program built with an access database backend was the right solution for us.
In determining the right way to perform inventory on a product that is not static (i.e. it grows), we tried to research what other small nurseries were doing. In the category of nurseries that sell “in-the-ground” trees, it seems that no one has the perfect solution. Since all trees grow at different rates depending on variety, location in the field, weather, etc., there is no magic algorithm to determine what size a tree will be in 6 months. Because of this, we know we will have to re-inventory our fields at least two times per year.
Additionally, while we started out using a handheld solution that was supposed to save time, we found that it actually took more time navigating through the handheld screens in the field than it took to manually input the data back in the office. Now, our crew manager takes inventory in the field (takes about a week for 25K trees), and we have someone in the office input the data into our database. Although, technology is undoubtedly a time saver in most applications, we found that the handheld device in the field just slowed us down.
After over a year of planning, permitting, and building, we are finally in our new barn and office building! We moved in a few weeks ago, and are getting settled into the new space. We now have a great new area for our crew, and a large shop for tractor and implement storage. Upstairs are three offices, a small kitchen, and conference room. We invite our customers to call and schedule a vist to the nursery. We would love to show you around and tell you all about our growing methods and philosophy! Call us at 360-428-5810 or send an email to email@example.com.
Sign up for our Newsletter Subscription at www.urbanforestnursery.com and find out our current favorite street & landscape tree, as well as other great tips on watering, mulching, pruning, and more!
It’s great when a satisfied customer sends us a picture of their newly planted tree from Urban Forest Nursery, Inc! Here is an awesome example of beautifying an otherwise bare and boring strip of land between sidewalk and street. This is a Crimson Cloud Hawthorn and will have gorgeous bright reddish pink flowers with white centers. And the best part…the form! It is one of those trees where the branches grow in a somewhat irregular but symmetrical pattern, giving it an almost whimsical appearance. I have one in my backyard, and I can honestly say it’s one of my favorite trees. A great side benefit…the fragrance of the flowers in the spring is amazing!
Newly Planted Crimson Cloud Hawthorn
We just put out our first quarterly newsletter last month, and will be sending the next one in June. Our newsletters will be filled with nursery news, inventory availability, and helpful tips on making the most of your tree purchase. If you would like to be included on our quarterly email list, please visit our website (www.urbanforestnursery.com) and fill out your name and email address in the lower right-hand corner of the homepage. As always, if you have more specific questions or comments, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Saturday, April 3rd, is our annual tree sale at Urban Forest Nursery! It is from 10AM-4PM and open to the general public. Our address is 15119 McLean Road, Mount Vernon, WA 98273. We will have at least 200 trees included in the sale, including many different varieties and sizes of maples, flowering crabs, oaks, evergreens, etc. Please come rain or shine, and bring a truck and cash or check. We look forward to helping you find the perfect tree for your landscape!
For those of you that have experience taking inventory counts in a past or present job, you can appreciate the tedium of the task, as well as the time that it takes. Now imagine that the product you are counting constantly changes in size. This is the challenge of taking inventory in a field of trees. Unlike counting containers in a retail nursery (which remain the same size until someone physically “replants” them in a larger container), the only real way to measure a tree in the ground is by either its height or caliper (essentially, its diameter). Since the tree is obviously growing, it becomes a challenge to keep a real time up-to-date inventory.
Here at Urban Forest Nursery, Inc. we have recently started our first comprehensive inventory count. We are initially doing it in stages, where we will count about 1/3 of the field and then start using the resulting information in our day-to-day sales and invoicing management, to ensure that we are headed down the right path. This way we can “play” with the data for a bit before investing the time to count the entire property, which is about 30,000 trees over 32 acres.
We have discovered that it takes approximately1 hour to inventory 1000 trees. This is done with two people, where one person is measuring and counting the trees, while the other is entering data into a handheld computer. Once complete for the day, the handheld is then synced with an inventory program on the office computer. In our initial run, we have estimated a savings of about 2/3 time over a manual inventory count. Most of that extra time was spent entering the data once back in the office.
We will spend the majority of this spring/summer continuing the initial inventory count in stages, while experimenting with the various uses of the data in between counts. We will be sure to post more results and ideas as we learn along the way!
We are adding new ways for you to follow us! We now have a Facebook page – just do a search for Urban Forest Nursery, Inc. and become a fan. We also just joined Twitter under the name UFNINC. Coming soon will be links from our website to both Facebook and Twitter. Catching up with us has never been easier!
We are very excited about the recent launch of our new website! Check it out at www.urbanforestnursery.com. We now have an expanded list of tree profiles, including some great photos. Also, take a look at our Production page (off of the main Nursery page) for a detailed description of our growing methods. Coming soon is a real-time list of our inventory availability. Check back often for inventory specials!
Let us know what you think of the site…and as always – we would love your constructive feedback and suggestions!