PMC Update for October 26, 2023

Panoramic picture of a clean-tilled seedbed
Fall Seedbed 10.13.23

Here are 5 things that you should know about the PMC for October 26, 2023:


Sales at the PMC as of October 24 were $1,316,282 which is 78% of the way to meeting the revenue budget of the fiscal year of $1,696,000. That revenue amount is an increase of almost 10% from this time last year when it was just over $1,200,000. That sales volume is composed of 239 orders totaling 1,229,643 plants and growing. There are still a wide variety of species available so if anyone needs bare root conservation seedlings and live stakes check out the current availability at but the list is getting shorter so it is advisable to secure plant materials sooner than later.


Plants are going dormant and the growing season is winding down. The current activities are:

Harvesting and Shipping Live Stakes –7 seasonal employees and crew leader Maria are working on cutting and processing live stakes for orders going out in October and November. There are 3300 stakes going out this week and over 10,000 next week, many 5 and 6 feet long which take longer to process. That number will increase significantly in November.

Propagation – Seeds are still being collected, processed, and received for fall seed planting. So far over 6 miles of 8-row seedbed have been planted this fall. As additional seed becomes available more will be planted, possibly totaling over 8 miles of seedbed.

Preparing for Bare Root Harvest – Bare root harvest begins when the plants are fully dormant which is around December 1st. Staff are busy getting necessary supplies, preparing equipment, scheduling orders to work on first, and finding the seasonal employees needed to do the job. There is a month to go until that starts and so far, all is on schedule.

Watching the Weather – As mentioned in previous updates, there are species that are slow to go dormant which are susceptible to freeze damage in the event of cold weather. Once they are dormant, they are sufficiently cold hardy. The forecast for the end of this week is for nighttime temperatures to possibly drop below 30° That could present a potential risk to these species and the only method the PMC has to protect them is running irrigation on them during the time the temperature is below freezing. The water releases latent heat which can provide enough protection. The PMC will set up the irrigation system so that all that needs to happen if it is decided to do frost protection will be to come in and turn on a pump and hope all works properly.

Biochar Trial:

Nick Kunz with Skagit Conservation District has been working with others on researching the benefits of biochar, the methods of burning wood to create biochar to help reduce wood waste and wildfire danger, and sequester carbon for a longer time than traditional burning. He will be joined by partners and stakeholders today at the PMC to compare burning wood waste in a biochar kiln along with a more traditional burn pile for comparison. More on that later.

Coming Attractions:

The PMC will continue live stake harvest. Seed collections and processing, finish planting fall seedbed, helping customers place orders and getting ready for bare root harvest.

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

Jim Brown, Director of Nursery Operations