It’s late March and the view out of my window shows signs of spring. My 100-year-old post oaks are bearing the tiniest of leaves. The anolis and the spiny lizards that live in my landscape beds are sunning themselves. The birdsongs are glorious.

It’s hard to believe that the world around me is in chaos.

That’s why I wanted to share this Emily Dickinson poem with you. The bird, symbolizing hope, never ceases to sing, no matter the circumstances. Its song is sweet and comforting. And it never asks for anything in return.

We must not lose hope.

This issue was planned and in the works before we’d even heard about the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

It is my hope that when this issue mails, we have a better idea of when the quarantines will be lifted, and we see the curve flattening. When we no longer have to shelter in place, we can enjoy the sights of the frilly Grevillea flower (page 6) and stare in wonder at an old-growth tree found in places like The Great Smoky Mountains (page 8). Then when it’s time to start bulking up the workforce, you’ll consider hiring people with disabilities (page 10) or start an internship program (page 18).

We’ll continue to publish production, plant health and business information in print. We’ll bring you industry-related updates to COVID-19 on our web site ( and social media channels.

As an industry, we’ll do what we’ve done before when there’s a flood, a hurricane, a tornado, a fire or a recession — we’ll show grace, we’ll support one another, and we’ll act.

And we’re going to hang on to hope.