High Demand Native Plants from Maine
Steve Effner, Donglin Zhang and Stacy Ruchala
Interest in growing native plants has been increasing in recent years due to their countless landscape uses and value in preserving natural ecosystems (Cullina, 2000; Dreyer, 1993). To satisfy the market demand, Western Maine Nurseries, a well-established conifer liner nursery, diversified by adding a woody ornamental liner division in 1997. The initial goal was to grow potted woody liners focused on three perceived needs in the nursery trade: rare, unusual, and new introductions; superior cultivars of standard nursery stock with proven track records in extreme northern climates; and native plants with bio-mitigation applications. Of these three initial goals, native plant production has had, by far, the highest demand, accounting for up to 75% of our sales.
For the last 6 years, Western Maine Nurseries and University of Maine Horticultural Program have teamed up on the research effort on generating these native plants. The nursery is located in Fryeburg, Maine (U.S.D.A.
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