Most Profitable Trees for a Garden Center

So you’re a garden center trying to decide what trees would be the best investment. You’ve made it to the right place! Here, we’ll detail what the most profitable trees are, as well as some of their features and why they are so profitable.

Fast-Growth Shade Trees. Many homeowners and landscapers want trees that can produce shade within a year or two, and are willing to pay a large sum for these. Fast-growth shade trees are sold in ten to fifteen gallon pots, and have well-developed root systems to encourage rapid growth once planted. Red maple and American elm trees are some of the better species for this type of tree.

Dogwood Trees. Landscapers love these trees for their spring blooms and fall foliage. The Kousa variety is one of the best ones, as it produces a crop of sweet red berries, is disease resistant, and is not liked by deer.

Thornless Locust. Locust trees are widely used in restoration and erosion control projects. Thornless and fast-growing locust varieties, such as the Shademaster and Sunburst varieties, are popular for landscaping projects. Locust trees are also another example of fast-growth shade trees, growing to a full height of 25 to 30 feet in around six years.

Fruit and Nut Trees. Trees that produce homegrown food that can be eaten or sold are often sought after by homeowners with larger amounts of land, and can be one of the more profitable trees for homeowners to grow. Some of these trees also have valuable wood that is most often used for high-quality furniture. Apple trees, especially heritage apple trees, are a popular fruit tree, and black walnut and hybrid chestnut trees make for good nut trees.

Bonsai Trees. Landscapers and homeowners with not much land love these tiny trees. Even people without a yard to speak of can enjoy a bonsai tree’s presence indoors. Both starter plants that are ready to train and pre-trained bonsai trees can be highly profitable, though pre-trained do sell for more than just starters.

Willow Trees. These trees are easy to grow and prolific, and have a very versatile wood which can be used for basket weaving or fiber arts. Willow shoots can be grown in a variety of colors as well, and the tree is used in restoration and conservation projects too. Due to this tree’s sheer versatility, it is quite popular among landscapers and homeowners looking for an easily grown, pleasant looking prolific tree.

Japanese Maple. Very popular amongst landscapers for its leaves, which come in red or green colors and broad or cut leaf shapes. Larger Japanese maples can sell for quite the sum. These trees do not grow to be very big, so a lot of them can be kept in surprisingly small areas.

Christmas Trees. Sure, there are artificial trees, but ever since 2007, those have been losing ground to real trees. Christmas trees don’t even need to be very big to sell — ceilings are only so high. Greens and wreaths can be an even more profitable side investment from Christmas trees.

If you’re looking to purchase trees or shrubs wholesale for your garden center, Steve Myers & Son Nursery is a good choice. We specialize in B&B trees and shrubs, including shade trees, flowering trees, evergreens and shrubs. Contact us to discuss business.

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Tips on Plant Selection for Landscapers: Create A Cold-hardy Landscape

At Steve Myers & Son Nursery, we know you aren’t here to twiddle your thumbs. As such, we’ve put together a collection of tips for wintertime landscaping, specifically the plants. Let’s jump right in. Our first tip: use indigenous plants – those native to a particular area – appropriate to your home or landscaping area, whichever applies. Since they’re already suited to a given spot, they need considerably less maintenance. Before committing to any decisions, however, you should first carefully analyze the area you’ll be working in and go from there.

Don’t Handwave It

With smaller plants, if you end up making a mistake, it won’t cause you too much trouble down the road – we hope. That’s not so with trees; putting one of those in the wrong spot can give you a serious headache later on, so always be careful with your tree placement. Also consider that, as a rule of thumb, trees are slow growers. By the time they get to maturity you yourself may not even be alive anymore. You aren’t just picking for you; you’re picking for whoever it is will next live in the area in question, and quite possibly one or two generations beyond that.

Leafless But Not Hopeless

Deciduous trees lose their leaves in winter (unless you live in a hot climate, and even then they might). That isn’t always a bad thing: while leaves and flowers are often relied upon to create color and beauty, the bark of a tree is no less beautiful, in its own way. To take advantage of a tree’s winter look, select trees that have visually distinctive bark, which will come to the front during winter. Such trees may end up being smaller than the towering oaks many people might expect to see in a landscape; that can be good or bad, depending on your tastes and the tastes of whoever it is you’re working for (if anyone). Dogwoods and birches can make good winter picks, assuming they can handle the climate you’re looking at.

Berry Good

Berry-bearing plants that keep those berries in winter can add a welcome splash of color to the otherwise dull landscape. Hollies are a favorite for this kind of thing, and crab apples aren’t too uncommon either. If you’re ecologically minded, such plants also provide food for overwintering birds.


Despite the name, evergreens aren’t always green, though most are. Since they keep their leaves (or needles, depending on the plant) all throughout the year, they’re important focus points for any winter landscape. If you’re feeling creative, try planting evergreens that aren’t green – blue spruces, for instance. If you’re planting a new bed, we recommend adding at least one evergreen for when winter rolls around.

Perennially Interesting

Perennials that have something to offer in every season are, unsurprisingly, good picks for a landscape. Some ornamental grasses fall into this category, as do hellebores (the latter even bloom in winter, a decidedly unusual trait for a flowering plant). Your local climate heavily influences the options in this regard; if you live in/are landscaping an area that doesn’t have much in the way of four-season perennials, it may be worth considering leaving around plants that have seedheads, such as the black-eyed Susan, until spring to provide some extra interest.

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Native Plants for Winter

The season is wrapping up, and your plants are starting to die, but you may not want your beautiful garden to end. The falling trees are experiencing great fall foliage. But, with winter coming up, we need to think ahead to what to prepare for next! There are some native plants that remain beautiful year-round to admire even in the most dead part of winter. Up next, you will hear about some of the very best plants for winter that are always great choices during the freezing months.

Aronia or (Chokeberry) is a dependable tree in landscaping. Native plants have blooms in Spring, berries in Summer, and bright Fall foliage. Dark purple berries are produced in Winter for beautiful winter accent colors and food for the bird types in the area.

Winterberries are a good example of winter growth. They love acidic soils and can be found growing in parts of northern Minnesota. Their bright red berries have an eye-catching color. They mainly grow in groups and can provide habitat and food for wildlife. These should not be consumed by humans or animals. Winterberries grow their very when planted in clusters and in the wild.

Hydrangea’s wild popularity is well known. These plants are very lovely in your landscaping. The flowers give so much more texture to your winter landscape after all the leaves have fallen, and can have a new purpose in your winter pots. They are very simple to keep up with and able to withstand the weather. Hydrangeas are great for landscape all year long.

Deciduous trees are often overlooked when thinking about winter plant attraction because they lose their leaves in the fall.

Amur Cherry’s bright shiny appearing bark and thin branches are very formal set in front of a snowy scene.

Coralberry & Snowberry trees are also one to consider. They have bright pink and white berry clusters on the branches. These are another lovely winter backdrop for peaceful areas. They are food for many native bird kinds, as well as acting as pollinators in the summer months. You will need to trim them back in the early Spring for control of growth.

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Featured Species: Sweet Gum

A sweet gum is a deciduous tree that ranges in height from around 50 to 100 feet and has a thin oval canopy with a spread of 40 to 60 feet. They are medium-sized, winter trees home to the eastern and south-central United States. You can see them placed from the south into Mexico and Central America. Their range in the United States is anywhere from New Jersey, south-eastern Connecticut, southeastern Pennsylvania, south to Florida, and east Texas.

They will typically grow in low lying country areas and valleys, and you most likely won’t find these in the Appalachian Mountains. Some species have been known to grow over 120 feet tall, but this is very uncommon. The negative side of growing a sweetgum tree is having to deal with the seed pods. You have probably heard little kids call them gumballs or stickerballs, and it is very rare to find a child with a sweetgum growing nearby that hasn’t had a rough experience with them. As you grow up you will realize how much of a pain they are. They can roll underfoot and cause you to fall, especially on paved places.

Even though sweetgum trees are mainly planted as sidewalk or street trees, their roots are not deep and can lift up on sidewalks and curbs. If you are looking to plant a sweetgum, keep it at least 10 feet from pavements and concrete to bypass harm. When gumballs fall they can be very hazardous on pavements which is yet another reason to keep them away from sidewalks and driveways. Sweetgums need a place in full sun or some shade. They grow in pretty much any soil, whether it be mostly sand or clay.

They have a lot of shallow roots, but they also have some deep roots that need moist, thick soil. Once the tree is planted, sweetgums are very low maintenance. It is not necessary that you fertilize them every year, but they like some general purpose fertilizer or compost every couple years. The trees are able to tolerate droughts and do not need to be watered once they are grown.

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