Food. Forests. Future.
Arthur’s Point Farm is home to a New York State-licensed nursery specializing in native and naturalized bare-root trees, shrubs, and wildflower perennials with significant edible, medicinal, and ecological value. We also favor species and cultivars with potential to adapt to expected changes in temperature, precipitation, and seasonality in the decades to come.
We grow plants in-ground using organic and biodynamic practices. We propagate from seeds or cuttings, sourced locally when possible to ensure they are best adapted to our eco-region (Planting Zone 5) and can offer the greatest health and longevity. What we cannot find locally, we source from reputable seed companies with known genetic origin.
It’s All About the Soil
The health and productivity of our plants starts with the soil. The nursery is located on a former hay field that was practically devoid of organic matter and soil microbes until we started restoring it several years ago. Through a succession of cover crops and repeated applications of compost, biochar, mulch, and mineral amendments, we have turned this area into one of the most fertile spots on the farm. It is not uncommon for some of the faster growing species (e.g., black locust) to grow over six feet in the first year, from a seed the size of a grain of rice. This growth in the early years of the plant’s development lays the groundwork for future development and productivity.
Bare-Roots are Better
Bare-root plants are trees, shrubs, and wildflower perennials that are transplanted during the dormant season without soil or potting medium. For deciduous species, this means when plants have shed their leaves or have yet to produce new ones in the spring. These plants have had the opportunity to grow extensive root systems and have developed relationships with a diversity of soil microorganisms.
Bare-root plants offer many advantages over container-grown or balled-and-burlapped plants. The main advantage is that the plant’s root system is not constrained or cut away as they are when potted or balled. Many container grown plants exhibit root-circling, where the fine feeder roots are prevented from developing naturally as they grow toward the edges of the container. When transplanting, this condition must be corrected by pruning the plant’s root system, particularly the important feeder roots. This stresses the plant and can inhibit growth for years, if not permanently. Bare-root trees are also generally less stressed during the growing season than container-grown stock. A dark plastic pot is susceptible to significant temperature and moisture swings throughout the year, whereas bare-root plants are transplanted during times of optimum soil moisture and ambient temperatures. Cost and ease of planting relative to potted plants and balled and burlapped trees is another advantage favoring bare-root plants. We also reduce plastic waste, the unnecessary transport of soil, and the disruption of microbial communities when we choose bare-root plants over more traditional nursery offerings.
Native wildflowers sustain myriad species of bees, butterflies, and other other pollinators essential to fertilizing much of the food we grow. They’re also beautiful and low maintenance once established. We do the hard part by growing one- and two-year old plants that easily transplant when dormant (April and November in the Northeast). We aim to offer a selection of species that have continuous bloom times and pollinator forage throughout the growing season.
Cuttings & Live Stakes
Cuttings of live branches are an easy and cost-effective way of planting many species of trees and shrubs, especially in areas that are too steep or wet for mechanical equipment. This makes them a perfect choice for ecological restoration projects and natural landscaping along ponds, streams, and wetlands. They are also a very cost effective way of retaking areas that have become overgrown with invasives to to past disturbance.