Plant Materials Center Update: October 13, 2022

Here are 5 things that you should know about the PMC for October 13, 2022:

September Financial Report

Lori has completed the September Financial Reports. It is still relatively early in the fiscal year so there is not too much to report on yet, especially revenue since revenue will not start coming in until harvest starts and some plants can be shipped out and invoiced for.

There are, however, a few expenses to highlight. Chemicals cost is at 103% of budget (3% over budget) for the fiscal year. Spending on chemicals mostly happens at the beginning of the fiscal year so there will not be any large expenses for the remainder of the year. Packaging expenses are ahead of this time last year and that is due to receiving bags and boxes earlier than usual out of concerns about supply chain issues.

Seasonal wages are up from this time last year which is due to increases in wages because of minimum wage increases and staying competitive with other employers in the area. Some of the expense in seasonal wages can be attributed to using a seasonal employee to take on some much-needed building maintenance projects. The budget provides money to contract out some of this maintenance but this work was performed in-house by a seasonal employee instead.


Sales continue strong. Last week’s sales report had sales over $1.2 million which is over 70% above where they were this time last year and 90% of the sales budget for the entire fiscal year.

Dry Weather Continues

It has been mid-June since any appreciable precipitation was received around here. The PMC has seen rain by October every year for the past 25 years. Having suitable soil moisture to conduct fall seed planting has always been a given. It is time to begin fall seed planting and the only way to increase soil moisture sufficiently is to irrigate. In this case, the irrigation reel is used which makes it relatively easy. That should allow fall seed planting to begin next week. Some rain is predicted for the end of next and a wetter weather pattern should follow. One concern with fall seed planting is waiting too long when excess soil moisture becomes an issue.

Live Stake Harvest Continues

There are currently 8 employees working on filling an unusually full slate of live stake orders this fall. The majority of the live stakes being requested are longer 6’ long stakes which take longer to process. A minimum rate of 2,000 stakes per day is needed to keep up and the crew is getting close to 2,500 per day. Orders for fall stakes will keep the crew busy until bare root harvest begins December 1.

Work on Gravel Beds Continues

The PMC is expanding its capacity to carry bare root seedlings over through the summer so that they are available for fall planting. With a grant from the Washington Native Plant Society, a larger bed is being constructed. It will be planted with a variety of trees and shrubs next spring. If anyone is interested in trying bare root seedlings for planting in fall 2023 contact us to see if the species of interest can be made available.

To learn more about the PMC’s Missouri Gravel Beds there will be a Zoom meeting on October 20 11:00 to 11:45. Here’s the link to the meeting Extending the Bareroot Planting Window Tickets, Thu, Oct 20, 2022 at 11:00 AM | Eventbrite or contact the PMC for more info. There is also an article in the current Treelines Journal.

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

Jim Brown
Director of Nursery Operations