Now’s the time to put in that tree, dig it?

This is the time of year when Robert Hoadley’s business barks at him seven days a week.

The store is open until Nov. 1.

The store is open until Nov. 1.

Hoadley owns Lakeview Nursery and Hoadley’s Wholesale Nursery on 140-plus acres of land in Auburn, N.Y., some 30 miles west of Syracuse.

It’s a tree farm, the 34-year-old’s baby, really. He bought the business from his parents some seven years ago, and sharpened its focus to growing trees right there.

Anival Martinez Gomez works the digging spade in the fields of Lakeview Nursery.

Anival Martinez Gomez works the digging spade in the fields of Lakeview Nursery.

And now’s the time to get the Digging Spade into the ground to free the trees he planted from bare root and whips three or four years ago, to get them planted for customers or into mulch for sale down the line.

Hoadley explains that this is the best time of year to dig trees out, because they don’t have a lot of leaves to stress them, and to put them back in, because then they’ll have the whole wet spring to to flourish.

I wrote about Hoadley for my weekly Mark It Up community column for Syracuse Public Media site You can read it and see more photos by clicking the link below.

Robert Hoadley, owner of the tree farm.

Robert Hoadley, owner of the tree farm.

Hoadley works his business from the seat of his customized pick-up truck, on land that’s been in his family since his grandparents ran it as a poultry farm. A car accident in 2003 left him without the use of his legs. He certainly doesn’t let that define his life. He’s expanded the tree-growing a thousand-fold, and he’s too busy making sure he stays on top of his ever-changing field of work and traveling the world when the nursery slows down for seasonal swings.

Hover over any gallery photo for a description. Click on the bottom right photo in any gallery for an enlarged slide show.

If you recall, last spring my dear wife Karen and I put in Cherry Cherry at the Little Bitty in the Eastwood neighborhood of the city of Syracuse.

Have you added a tree on your property, and if so, what variety and in what season? Did it flourish or perish, and what did you learn from the experience? Have you traveled abroad, and if so, what countries gave you the most interesting experiences, and why? Which is your favorite photo, andy why?

49 thoughts on “Now’s the time to put in that tree, dig it?

  1. Hi Mark. It looks like a beautiful nursery. I like the first picture the most (of the nursery). I guess I never thought about the nurseries on your side of the country closing in the winter, but now that I think about it, there really is not any reason to stay open. I have not planted one blasted thing this year, or last year. I have a Japanese Maple that seeded itself, I put it in a pot to take care of it. It is now about 6 feet tall. The rest of our trees are looking really, really awful – awful enough to make me think even if we have a rainy season this winter, I am not sure they will make it.


  2. We had a pear tree put in a number of years ago, and I believe we had it planted in the spring. It was a 2-year-old baby, barely 6 feet tall. Now it’s probably 15 feet or more, and develops hundreds of pears every year. I actually did a post referring to my pear tree, for those of your readers who might have missed it:
    The post is only a little bit racy.


  3. Ooh, I love nurseries! What a wonderful business to run!
    Sassy brought home a tulip tree two falls ago. We planted it, but it died despite our best efforts. I wonder how long school had it before they gave it out…


  4. That looks like a really awesome nursery.

    I’ve planted a whole bunch of trees this year, discovering I’ve had a relatively green thumb (so far). To date, I’ve planted: 4 hazelnut trees, 2 almond trees, 2 pear trees, 3 apple trees, and 2 fig trees. Some have been received from nurseries in the mail, the pear and apple trees were from Lowe’s, and the fig trees were from a friend of the family. All are still alive somehow.

    Most were added in the early Spring, while we took a chance on the apple and pear trees and planted them in the Summer. I think we put in those trees because they were on sale for really cheap, and there wasn’t much drawback if the trees didn’t survive.

    How’s the cherry tree doing?


  5. i’m always amazed by these tree whisperers. any time i’ve tried to plant small trees, they tend to die. they just planted a bunch on our playground and i was in awe of them –


  6. I have planted a red maple (turned out to be a regular maple which is thriving very well). I have planted other trees (too many to list) and they didn’t thrive. I guess the southwest isn’t the best environment for trees.


  7. That dude lost the use of his legs and he runs a tree farm? What a fucking whiner I am. Iโ€™m ashamed of myself. I donโ€™t suppose thatโ€™s what I was supposed to get out of this post but thatโ€™s how it hit me.


  8. I love this story, and it’s growing legacy. We did plant a tree this year MBM. A wee bitty thing of a pine variety. It isn’t the size of a bush yet. And won’t get enormous, but add to the feel of the cabin in the back. ๐Ÿ™‚


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