Plant Materials Center Update: June 16, 2022

Here are 5 things that you should know about the PMC for June 16, 2022:


Sales for the upcoming sales season won’t officially be posted until after July 1, but the value of the orders received so far is over $526,000. That is more than the $516,554 on 8/2/21. By August 2nd of this year, sales should be notably higher than the same time last year. A few species are already sold out, but most everything is still available, some in ample quantities. Jacquie is working on a new availability sheet for this year which will be a little different than last year.


Lori completed the May 2022 financial reports early this month. The revenue and expense trends that were on other recent monthly financials continued through May. Total PMC operating revenues were $1,616,696 as of May 31, 2022. That is a 33% increase from the same date last year which was $1,215,646.

Of course, an increase of that amount comes with costs. Expenses increased 10.7% from $1,118,950 last year to $1,237,879 as of May 31, 2022. The biggest increase was seasonal labor which increased from$236,877 to $309,488. That was due to needing more labor hours to do the extra work as well as increased wages. The wage increases were a result of a notable increase in the minimum wage and the necessity to offer more than that to keep enough people here to finish harvest.

There is one more month left in this fiscal year at which time the profitability for the year can be determined.

Spring Seed Sowing

The PMC has completed planting the Spring 2022 seedbed. 12,500 bed-feet of conifer seedbed was planted and 15,500 bed-feet of hardwood / deciduous were planted for a total of 28,000 bed-feet. The conifers will not be available until Spring 2024 and the hardwood seedbed will have some species available next spring and some not until 2024. The last species to be planted was Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides). It is always last since using fresh seed is strongly advised which requires waiting until the cottony seeds start flying before collecting and processing. Now that their seeds have been sown on the ground (they cannot be covered since they require light for germination), they must remain moist through germination. Fortunately, that takes just a couple of weeks.


The PMC has not had too many breaks from the weather. There were two significant freezes during the winter and a whole lot of rain since then. Most recently the weather has been unseasonably cool and wet. That has decreased some growth rates but not enough to be concerned about yet. The rain has also reduced the number of days the crew was able to go out and work as well as when herbicides and fungicides can be applied. In spite of those challenges, production is on track. Thank goodness for well-draining soil.


The next big cultural practice to get started on for the season is root culturing. That is the practice of using an implement with a blade that goes through the ground and cuts off the root tips of the seedlings. That causes the plant’s root system to branch out creating a denser, more fibrous root system. It can also damage or kill plants that have too much root cut off. It is a practice that requires strict attention and proper soil moisture.

Irrigation would normally be happening by this time of year but due to the unusually wet spring that has not happened much yet.

The PMC has begun collecting seeds for next year. Red Elderberry and Osoberry are the first species to collect with other species coming along throughout summer and fall.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Jim Brown
Director of Nursery Operations