Members’ Hazelnuts: Now Growing

Jan 22 by in Arbor Day, General, Greenhouse, Hazelnuts tagged , , with 13 comments

Sprouted Hybrid Hazelnut

Late last summer, the Arbor Day Farm greenhouse staff reached out to a select group of Arbor Day Foundation members – specifically those who’d signed on to further the research of the hybrid hazelnut program.

We needed their help, and they didn’t disappoint.
First, a little backstory:

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Nebraska Senator Johanns tours Arbor Day Farm

Mar 30 by in General, Greenhouse, Hazelnuts, Trees tagged , , , , with 1 comment

Senator Mike Johanns at Arbor Day Farm, Nebraska City, NE -- March 2012

Nebraska City, Neb. (March 30, 2012) – Senator Mike Johanns toured Arbor Day Farm Friday morning and was the keynote speaker for the American Agri-Women mid-year meeting, hosted at Lied Lodge & Conference Center March 29-April 1.

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Photos: A New Crop of Hybrid Hazelnuts at Arbor Day Farm

Feb 02 by in General, Greenhouse, Hazelnuts tagged , , , , with 30 comments

Hybrid Hazelnut Sprout at Arbor Day Farm

We thought you might enjoy seeing what’s growing in the greenhouse at Arbor Day Farm. Right now, there are about 40,000 hybrid hazelnuts thriving in the greenhouse — the most our growing facilities have ever handled in one crop. Enjoy the photos!


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Raised Beds: A Great Option for Not-So-Great Soil

Jun 24 by in General, Greenhouse tagged , , , with no comments

Raised beds at Arbor Day Farm

Jan Bonham and Kristy Edwards work in the raised beds at Arbor Day Farm.

Are you looking to start your plantings earlier and possibly stretch your harvest date further?  Look no more than raised beds.  Raised beds are nothing more than elevating soil or mix, which allows the soil to warm faster in the spring and to cool slower in the autumn months.  In some regions, depending on climate, using raised beds lengthens the growing time by an extra month on either end of the regular growing cycle. That can be a real advantage in getting strong, healthy plants and trees.

Arbor Day Farm is currently experimenting with our own raised beds.  Our soil here is, for the most part, clay.  This hinders good root development for young seedlings and it also eliminates the possibility of lifting (that’s “greenhouse speak” for harvesting) the seedlings at maturity. The clay would tear the lateral roots, all but killing the seedlings once they went to outplanting.  With the challenge of clay soil in our area, we decided to go with raised beds as a trial when it comes to growing bareroot seedlings here at Arbor Day Farm

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The Greenhouse Report: Tree Shipping Season

Apr 15 by in Arbor Day, General, Greenhouse, Trees tagged with 2 comments


Happy Spring, everyone!

What a great time of the year here at Arbor Day Farm.  The soil temperature is rising, the buds are swelling, the bulbs are breaking through the ground, and the tree seedlings are heading out the door.  Our annual spring tree shipping season is upon us and I thought I’d describe what it takes to seamlessly send more than 2.5 million seedlings to all of our Arbor Day Foundation members during Spring 2011. 

As you might expect: It all starts with a great plan.

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The Greenhouse Report: Meet the Staff

Jul 13 by in General, Greenhouse, Hazelnuts, Trees tagged , , , with 3 comments

Plant Trees - Arbor Day FoundationIt takes a dedicated team to grow hundreds of thousands of tree seedlings every year, as we do here in the greenhouse operations at Arbor Day Farm.  

Granted, we’re a small team of just three individuals, but it’s inspiring to think about the future forests that literally pass right through our hands every season.  It’s rewarding work.  We share ideas, we listen to one another, we solve new challenges, and everyone’s opinion is regarded  in the decision making process. This team approach is ingrained in the culture of our unique nursery setting.   

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Greenhouse Report: The Upcoming Growing Season

Mar 19 by in General, Greenhouse tagged with 2 comments


Tomorrow marks the official first day of spring, and the greenhouse staff at Arbor Day Farm is busy getting ready for another production season. It’s true that we grow year round, but during the spring and summer we take advantage of nature’s kind gifts – sunlight and longer days – and grow an outdoor crop as well.

All plants grown at Arbor Day Farm’s greenhouses are propagated from seed. During the month of May, we will sow over 250,000 seeds – Colorado Blue Spruce, White Pine, Norway Spruce, and Bald Cypress. As you might imagine, sowing a quarter of a million seeds by hand would take an enormous amount of time. So we embrace another gift – the gift of mechanization and technology – to help us keep up with the demand.

Here’s how we get growing at Arbor Day Farm…

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The Greenhouse Report: Hybrid Hazelnuts

Feb 04 by in General, Greenhouse tagged , with 4 comments


For many of us, the hazelnut is a delicious snack, or maybe a favorite flavoring for a morning latte. But here at the Arbor Day Foundation, hazelnuts represent a sustainable crop with the potential to change the world.

A number of years ago, the Arbor Day Foundation wanted to produce a sustainable crop that would not only be a bio-fuel and a food source, but also an economical, high-yielding, widely-adaptable species that required relatively low input. That’s a pretty tall order, but after years of research, testing, and collaboration with invaluable partners, the Arbor Day Foundation established a nine-acre hazelnut orchard at Arbor Day Farm. What has grown out of this original planting in 1996 is a fascinating example of how a small idea can become reality and how that reality will continue to evolve into a sustainable program.

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