By the time a tree is planted at your home, it has seen many faces and places. A lot of time and effort is put into the tree before it can ever provide shade for your yard, become the ultimate treehouse tree for your kids, house a happy little tire swing, or provide fruit, fragrance, fall color or flowers. At Rost Inc. a single tree travels through a variety of our divisions over the span of several years before every being planted in a landscape. So, here’s a peak behind the scenes of what it takes to get a tree ‘retail ready’.
Each spring, thousands of ‘liners’ are delivered. A liner, is essentially a baby tree with bare roots. We quickly plant these liners in containers where they are held on at our container growing facility. These liners are maintained here, for a year, while they grow and establish a better root system.
Early the following spring, these are taken to our tree farm and planted in the ground. These trees will now spend at least three years growing before they can be dug up and prepared for sale. During this time, 300 acres of trees, all at various stages of growth, are routinely pruned, fertilized, weeded, sprayed for pests, and watered. Because they’ve been grown in Missouri soil and have developed in this climate, the health and quality of these trees is vastly increased.
Many times, trees are categorized by caliper, rather than height. The caliper of a tree is the diameter of the trunk. So, once a tree has reached the size we need for sale, based on its caliper, it is then dug in late fall or early spring. Trees are dug up a tree spade, placed in a burlap and wire basket, and wrapped by hand. The main purpose of this process is to ensure that the root system stays intact and travels safely.
While many of our trees are shipped to other nurseries throughout the Midwest, most of them are then shipped to the Rost Inc. / Superior Garden Center nursery lot. At this point, they are heeled in, meaning the root ball is temporarily covered to provide protection from weather, to prevent trees from breaking dormancy early, and to keep the roots moist until the tree has been purchased.
From here, the trees are selected by customers at Superior Garden Center or by landscape designers and installation crews from Rost Landscaping to be planted. Which is where you come in! There are many reasons to plant trees in your yard beyond the need for shade or beauty.
- Trees increase the value of your home
- Shade trees can reduce cooling costs by 30-50%
- Trees convert carbon dioxide into oxygen & absorb harmful pollutants
- Trees filter contaminants and therefore reduce the amount of chemicals entering streams and groundwater
- Environments with trees have been known to enhance your health
So, while you’re excited for your new tree, that tree has already had many hands touch it. From drivers, to our tree farm crews, to our nursery staff, to landscape installation crews and everyone and every hose in between, it is our pleasure to do the work that produces a tree you can enjoy for decades to come.