TreeTown USA acquires Hines division of Color Spot Nurseries

TreeTown USA, in coordination with Wells Fargo’s acquisition of Color Spot Holdings, has announced an agreement to acquire the Hines division of Temecula, Calif.-based Color Spot Nurseries, Inc. for an undisclosed amount. The deal was expected to close in early August.

The division has three facilities totaling more than 2,000 acres located in California and Oregon. With its foray into the Pacific Northwest, TreeTown USA’s operations will include 19 farm locations throughout California, Texas, Florida, and Oregon encompassing more than 6,000 acres in production.

TreeTown CEO Jonathan Saperstein anticipates there will be future horticulture industry growth in the landscape professional segment of the business. As a result, he foresees there will be a significant need for shrubs, foundation plants, and trees within the large commercial space as well.

“The size and locations of the Hines facilities will allow us to take advantage of the inherent economies of scale over the next decade,” he says.

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DCA Outdoor buys 2 nurseries

Oregon's Fishback Nursery and Valley Hill Nurseries, a 350-acre Kentucky nursery, are DCA's latest acquisitions.

Keith and Dan Fishback founded Fishback Nursery in 1978. The purchase of the 500-acre Oregon nursery expands DCA Outdoor into the commercial fruit tree market. Fishback Nursery will be renamed to Schwope Brothers Tree Farms.

The company also reached an agreement to purchase Valley Hill Nurseries in Springfield, Ky. Valley Hill, led by Todd Ryan, opened in 1972 as a producer of B&B caliper shade trees and continues to do so today on 350 acres.

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ForemostCo to acquire Orcosa

ForemostCo, a global grower and distributor of young plants, announced that Orcosa, a producer of ornamental plants in Costa Rica, will be joining the ForemostCo family. Orcosa is a subsidiary of Handelskwekerij van der Velden in Holland, which has more than 75 years in the business of ornamental plants in Europe.

Orcosa was established in 1988 by Piet van der Velden of Handelskwekerij van der Velden BV and Joost van Abeelen. Orcosa has evolved into a large producer of indoor and outdoor bromeliad young plants as well as producing a select group of indoor foliage plants, supplying both North American and European growers. By adding Orcosa’s offshore bromeliad production to ForemostCo’s Florida based bromeliad liner production at its Phoenix foliage operation, the ForemostCo family will now be able to offer extensive volume and selection for more than 200 varieties of bromeliad young plants.

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University News

Oklahoma State University

Greenhouse Learning Center to provide cutting-edge educational opportunities at Oklahoma State University

This summer, Oklahoma State University broke ground on The Greenhouse Learning Center, a $6 million facility. It will replace and improve functions of OSU’s existing teaching greenhouses that have been in use for decades. Construction is expected to be completed next fall.

Greenleaf Nursery, headquartered in Park Hill, Okla., committed $1 million toward the project.

The Greenhouse Learning Center will feature six greenhouses, including an isolated entomology greenhouse, and head house, which includes a classroom, office space and plant-preparation area. It also will house cutting-edge irrigation systems, intense climate and humidity control and other technology standard in today’s horticulture industry.

K-State delays decision to immediately close research center

In June, Kansas State University announced it would close the 120-acre John C. Pair Horticultural Center in Haysville because the College of Agriculture and K-State Research and Extension’s 2019 budget was cut by $3.5 million. After an uproar to save it, the university has delayed the decision to immediately close the center and requested a plan be created that would allow the research station to become financially self-sustaining in the future, according to Matthew McKernan, K-State Research & Extension horticulture agent.

The John C. Pair Horticultural Research Station Task Force, a committee composed of K-State horticulture personnel, has been assigned to this responsibility. Over the next four months the task force's current goal is to create a financial plan that would generate $230,000 annually to pay for the yearly cost of operating the facility. The horticulture industry’s input is imperative to make this a reality.

The center provides research and extension activities related to woody ornamental crop production and utilization that’s applicable across North America.

To collect ideas, gauge interest, and assign dollar values to potential ideas moving forward, a horticulture industry survey has been created. Go here to take the short survey:

McKernan says the university administration needs to hear from more horticulture industry members, specifically letters. He asks that the industry sends letters to:

  • K-State President Richard B. Myers, 110 Anderson Hall, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506
  • Associate Dean of Research Ernie Minton, 112 Waters Hall, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506
  • Associate Dean of Academic Programs Don Boggs, 117 Waters Hall, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506
  • Associate Dean of Extension Gregg Hadley, 123 Umberger Hall, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506
  • Horticulture & Natural Resources Department Head Candice Shoemaker, 2019 Throckmorton Plant Science Center, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506

Industry News

Danziger and Syngenta Flowers create joint perennial brand

Danziger and Syngenta Flowers have announced the launch of a new marketing initiative that will include their respective perennial portfolios in the U.S. and Canada in one offering under the brand name ThinkPlants (

This new marketing initiative not only supports the respective efforts of Danziger and Syngenta but also opens the door for additional breeders and suppliers to market their varieties under the ThinkPlants family of products, enabling brokers and growers to more efficiently create and book their perennial program.

For the 2019–20 season, Danziger Guatemala will provide the supply chain for both Danziger’s and Syngenta Flowers’s offerings under the ThinkPlants brand.

National Garden Bureau

National Garden Bureau announces four plants for 2019 'Year of the' program

National Garden Bureau, the non-profit organization promoting gardening in North America on behalf of the horticulture industry and its members, is pleased to announce the four plant classes that will be featured in the 2019 “Year of the” program.

  • For perennials, 2019 will be the Year of the Salvia (nemorosa and others).
  • For the bulb crop, 2019 will be the Year of the Dahlia.
  • For annuals, 2019 will be the Year of the Snapdragon.
  • For edibles, 2019 will be the Year of the Pumpkin.

The “Year of the” program chooses crops specifically for the North American market that are easy to grow, genetically diverse and with a lot of new breeding to showcase. Breeders, brokers, seed companies, growers and garden centers throughout the U.S. and Canada are urged to highlight these flowers and plants when planning their marketing for the 2019 season as the publicity generated from this program is substantial.

Both members and non-members are encouraged to take advantage of the publicity this program generates by using the attached logos in their 2019 catalogs, websites, advertisements and other marketing materials.

By mid-November 2018, NGB will have photos of varieties of all four crops posted on their website. NGB also provides PDF’s of fact sheets, flyers, handouts, signage etc. After November 15, all of the above can be downloaded at no charge from the NGB website. Special POP posters are also available for order from the NGB office. These tools will help the North American home garden industry promote the crops to consumers and encourage gardening with these specific crop classes.

Garden writer publicity will begin in August 2018 and consumer publicity will begin in January 2019.

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