Innovation & More
We take our tag line "Crafting Quality Plants Since 1990" very seriously. Since 1990 Waverly Farm has been a leader in innovation in our industry, continuously practicing the leading production methods. To deliver on our promise of top-rate material, Waverly Farm is constantly striving to practice advanced production methods and to use the best technology available to us in order to produce the highest quality material.
Quality soil is the key to growing quality material. Our IMANTS Rotary Spading Machine, farm-produced compost, and irrigation techniques create an incredibly healthy soil. Once you have the soil, you create major benefits:
Soil water holding capacity is increased dramatically.- Root balls last longer in holding yards.- Plant material weathers digging, transportation, and transplanting better.- Plants may pick up growth up to a year faster than other transplanted plants.- This reduces an already efficient drip irrigation system's water requirement by up to 50%.
Plants grow in a natural, unstressed environment.- No synthetic fertilizers are needed.- Soil contains key mycorrhizae, nutrients for optimal health and growth.- Reduces potential for root disease.
fresh compost compost plowed under,
ready to plant
To gain full control over the process and to reduce expense, we process all of the compost used on the farm. We use horse manure as source material, which is the best stock material for woody plant production. Horses have the broadest number of microbes in their gut of any domestic animal and produce fungal-dominated compost shown to favor woody plants, in part due to mycorrhizae presence. Our composts are of known source materials, and are subjected to regular lab analysis to ensure quality and consistency.
fresh compost spade-plowed, ready to plant
Traditionally, American nurseries harvest plants with a cone style tree spade. Waverly Farm digs with an Italian-made vibratory blade machine that produces a spherical root ball. The advantages are many. First, we compared both styles to determine which captures more of the fibrous roots located near the soil surface. Our research shows that the root ball contains approximately 14% more soil by weight but captures this additional soil on the horizontal plane where the roots are, instead of under the fibrous root location.
This round root ball also enables the plant to stand up without the aid of chocks typical of more pointed root balls. The planting hole is dug to a shallower depth, saving time and effort during installation. Also, because the ball is round, one man can easily roll even a 36" ball around on firm ground.
The Pazzaglia in action easily transportable stands without chocks Rootballs ready to go
Our goal is to produce plants of high quality for their long-term success in the landscape. Over time we have learned the end product of our effort relies on high quality liners. We pay very close attention to our liner growers and often knowingly pay more for liners than we would have to. We visit their production operations to ensure continuing quality is in line with our expectations. In addition, we propagate 80-90% of the plants here at the farm each year. This helps to ensure we do not introduce insect and disease pathogens from other regions of the country, plus increases control over availability.
Propagation house Propagation
All plants become more successful for the long term only when they are properly maintained in the nursery. Our careful scrutiny of structure, planting depth, careful leader selection and maintenance play an important role in the long-term success of plant material.
sheared pyramidal 'Green Mountain'
We make every attempt to grade plants equal to or beyond expectation. We choose every plant from production based on the high standards of our very most discriminating customers.
Waverly Farm meticulously loads every plant to insure its safe and undamaged arrival.- Cardboard dividers are inserted between plants whenever there is risk of abrasion from plant to plant.- We use the most expensive trunk wraps available to ensure no damage occurs to trees with exposed trunks.- Damage claims from shipping are very rare.
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While waiting with a local customer for his truck to be loaded and having a casual conversation I asked the simple question, “Why are you buying plants from Waverly Farm?” His response has been heard from others on numerous occasions but for some reason I was surprised when this customer, a great plants-man of very few words said “Because your plants live!” – and he said it with enthusiasm.
We hear this and time again from folks all up and down the East Coast. Once a Connecticut landscape contractor told me he wished he could buy 100% of his needs from Waverly Farm because he plants them, provides appropriate after care, and does not worry about them with regard to replacement.
I have been pondered why our customers have reported this for many years. Usually, they reveal something that may be too close for me to recognize. Sometimes their observations don’t necessarily connect with what I know but I can then make sense of it after thoughtful analysis.
-Soil. Our soil is deep, well-drained, silt loam of the highest productivity available anywhere in the U.S. For over 100 years agronomists have ranked soil productivity by its ability to produce corn. In 1996, our site produced 282 bushels of unirrigated corn per acre against the average of 130 bu/ac.
-Harvesting system and resulting root ball package. We harvest our plants using the Italian made Pazzaglia digging machine. It digs slightly less than a perfect sphere. This is important for several reasons. The ball stands up without aids and therefore prevents the plant from falling over in the wind or in routine holding; this prevents potential damage to the plant and ball. This ball also facilitates rolling around by one man in smaller sizes – again preventing handling damage reducing labor costs. Also, the ball is somewhat wider than most machine dug balls thereby capturing more feeder roots. The ball is not as deep as the typical cone style ball and this reduces the ball weight and planting expense. The ball depth is ½ the width and contains about 14% more soil than a cone shaped ball.
-Oversized Balls. Our root balls often exceed industry standards by at least one size. The result is we capture most of the existing root system. Rarely do we find any substantial root mass left behind in the digging hole. This does in fact incur slightly more handling expense but if the plant thrives and does not require replacement, everyone wins.
-No synthetic fertilizer is used. Our plants are not aggressively grown with chemical fertilizers due to optimum soil conditions and a philosophy that mandates sustainable production practices. Our already near perfect soils are amended prior to planting with 120 tons of compost per acre each time we plant. The organics supply all the nutrition needed while also building soil health for the future.
- Drip Irrigation. Drip irrigation focuses the water on the root zone and therefore tends to compact the root system allowing us to ship more roots.
-Longer Growing Cycles. On average we know that it takes longer for us to produce a given plant size for the reasons listed above and because we strive to produce a premium grade that may not be usually available.
Our single mission is to deliver quality plant material in an atmosphere of exceptional service, trust, and friendship. We take great pride in customer relationships, going all out to develop a mutually beneficial partnership with our customers; its not work- it's what makes this such a rewarding endeavor.