The Propagation System Used at Wilson Nurseries
Wilson Nurseries is a 1200-acre wholesale nursery located in northern Illinois about 40 miles west of Chicago. We propagate and produce a majority of the liners we plant out each year. Whether we're planting into a 3- or 5-gal container or a 4- or 8-ft B&B row, we like to have a heavy, well-branched liner that can make up in the least amount of time. Over the past 12 years, we have devised a system that allows us to do just that.
Although we do some winter propagation, the majority of the plants we propagate start as softwoods taken in June. We have five 30 ft × 200 ft quonset-style greenhouses which we devote to summer softwoods. All these houses have 12-inchdeep ground sand beds, roll up side vents, and a traveling irrigator.
The process starts in late April when we clean, level, and fumigate the sand beds. Depending on the weather, we start taking cuttings anywhere from late May to early June. The cutting crew is also the sticking crew, so on the first day out, we spend all day taking
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