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!
The use of growbags continue to impress us. They are definitely the new ‘green’ way to grow trees trees. The rootballs are smaller, so easier and lighter to move and transport, smaller equipment is needed to dig, load and ship, more can be moved in the same vehicle, and less soil is lost in the production field, all good for the environment. Some question the small size of the rootball relative to the size of the tree. This works because you get more roots per square inch of rootball. The roots end up being more concentrated, because before planting, the bare root tree rootsystem is pruned back to fit into the growbag without touching the sides of the bag. You get the new roots that start inside the bag, instead of being cut off like some other production methods. Rootballs are also more solid, less likely to crack and breakup during shipping. Buyers tell us that once they understand the system they love and prefer them.
Water! We have found a secret ingredient to keep trees happy this year. It is called water. Certain areas of Puget Sound, including us here in the Skagit Valley are in a severe drought. Calls continue to come in with people asking what is wrong with their trees. More often then not, the plants need water. Long slow, deep watering is the best, try it and you will be amazed! Then if you get really ambitious, add 3 to 4 inches of composted mulch under the dripline of the tree, but not against the trunk. With mulch, you can water less frequently.