Tour #4 – Commercial Nursery Production in Middle Tennessee

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The middle Tennessee nursery industry has more than a 140 year history. Five counties contain 292 nurseries growing 13 million containers on more than 33,500 acres. Producers here have a part in raising more than 285 plant genera, 606 species, and 1,368 selections (varieties & cultivars), pinning the nickname of this area as the “Nursery Capital of the World”. The first stop will be Herd Farms Nursery, a family owned propagation nursery producing 1.5 million liners of 100 different varieties of woody ornamentals. They root cuttings in 300 ground beds sell them bare root after 1-2 years to producers that will either pot them or line them out in rows for 3-5 years. Next, participants will travel to neighboring Walnut Hill Nursery. Walnut Hill Nursery produces 124 selections of 23 genera of shade and flowering trees by the budding method of propagation. After lunch, the tour will take participants to Freedom Tree Farms. Freedom Tree Farms buds 1.3 million fruit trees annually and 350,000 berry plants, which are sold bareroot or potted. The last stop on this tour will be to Walker Nursery. Walker Nursery was established in the early ‘60’s with less than 50 acres and has grown into a 500 acre field grown B&B (Ball & Burlap) operation producing many of the desired shade and ornamental trees, flowering shrubs and evergreens. The tour will provide some advantageous and scenic views along the route.

ADVISEMENT: This tour will require light to moderate walking, and appropriate farm shoes are recommended.