June 15, 2017

Frazier Nursery Spotlight Video

John and Alex Frazier, owners of Frazier Nursery near Vinton offer their skills and expertise for farmers looking to add trees for snow deposition, erosion control or just to beautify the landscape around their feedlots and livestock barns.

"We're different from other nurseries because we are specializing in windbreaks specifically. We certainly do sell other types of trees, but we like to become well-versed in the types of trees modern livestock farms require, says Alex Frazier." 

Check out the video to learn how Frazier Nursery can help you! 

The Coalition is proud to work with Frazier Nursery as a partner in the Green Farmstead Partnership Program. Don't miss out on the workshop "Putting Down Roots on Your Livestock Farm" hosted by the Frazier Nursery on June 20th! For more information on the program and event visit http://www.supportfarmers.com/greenfarm or call 1-800-932-2436. 

May 25, 2017

Partnership Spotlight: Frazier Nursery

 "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is today!" 
-Frazier Nursery

For 33 years, John Frazier's career was in teaching, and although he fully enjoyed his time as an educator at Vinton-Shellsburg, he knew he was a farmer at heart. After retiring from teaching two years ago, John decided to devote his full attention to his business, Frazier Nursery.

Alongside his wife, Carolyn, John opened Frazier Nursery in 1995 after becoming involved in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Together, they  have been growing quality trees and shrubs ever since.

"We've got 185 acres of crop ground and I always wanted to stay in agriculture. This worked great because I didn't have to have hundreds of acres and I'm still able to have a business," says John.

After graduating from the University of Northern Iowa and working for a few years, John’s son, Alex, decided to return to the family business as well.  Alex says he recognized opportunities arising as the business grew. He returned full-time to Frazier Nursery in 2012.

Alex Frazier (left) John Frazier (right) owners of Frazier Nursery located in Vinton, IA.

Today, the family owned nursery offers a broad array of services for livestock farmers as well as homeowners.

"Probably 75% of our sales are in windbreaks around farmsteads, buildings and hedges in town," says John.

They also offer lawn seeding services and tree spades to move or plant larger trees, but their specialty is growing large shade and ornamental trees.

John and Alex enjoy watching their customers have successful plantings as well as getting to know them on a personal level.

“One thing I've learned over the years is people have a tie to a certain tree, says John. For example, as a child if you climbed a sycamore tree, you could pick one out going down the highway just because you remember that bond.".

The Fraziers believe in the necessity of trees on livestock farms and the benefits windbreaks offer such as shade or lower utility bills. They also emphasize trees add beauty to farmland while creating an aesthetically pleasing, green environment that provides protection.

"Six years ago we had a major windstorm come through Vinton and I could take you to a farmstead that didn't have any trees and the place got blown away,” reflects John. "I could take you less than a mile away where a farmstead was surrounded by tress and show you little structural damage."

Frazier Nursery’s partnership with the Coalition has allowed them to get to know more people from different communities throughout the 100-mile radius area they serve.

"I think the Coalition's website has a ton of information. If people read that, not only would they be knowledgeable but they would get excited about tree planting too." says John.

The Coalition team with Alex and John Frazier.   
On Tuesday, June 20th, the Coalition and Frazier Nursery will be teaming up to host the Green Farmstead Partner Workshop. The theme of the event is ‘Putting Down Roots on Your Livestock Farm” and will feature tours of the nursery as well as an expert panel who will share tips on planting trees around livestock barns and feedlots. Visit www.supportfarmers.com/greenfarmworkshop for a detailed agenda and to register.

The Coalition is proud to work with Frazier Nursery as a partner in the Green Farmstead Partnership Program. For more information and professional expertise, call 1-800-932-2436 or visit greenfarmstead.blogspot.com.

April 25, 2017

Guidance for Spring Tree Selection

Spring is finally here! Planning a tree planting? Selecting the right trees for the right purpose is key to enabling trees to reach their full potential. When properly planted, trees can last a lifetime, so spending time to research the best trees for your location will pay off in the long run. Here are a few tips and tricks for successful selection.

What will the purpose of your trees be? Windbreaks, odor control and shade are common purposes for incorporating trees on livestock farms. Considering the purpose of your planting will positively impact tree life and effectiveness.

Accounting for mature height when selecting trees can prevent many issues when trees reach full size. Spread and height of trees vary due to soil and other environmental conditions. Researching the amount of space you have to work with can help you avoid trees growing into power lines, overcrowding, and interfering with views. Less maintenance is needed when appropriate sized trees are selected. 

Pest Susceptibility 
Knowledge of tree susceptibility to pests and diseases can often make or break the longevity of your tree planting. Every tree species has particular pest problems and each varies geographically. Select tree species that will be tolerant of the pests in your area.

Familiarity with Iowa's USDA Hardiness Zone Map is important when considering the ideal tree selection. Most of Iowa falls within hardiness Zone 5 where average minimum temperatures range between -10 and -20 degrees Fahrenheit. However, there are a few small pockets in northwest and northeast Iowa that fall within Zone 4, where average minimum temperatures range from -20 to -25 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tolerance to heat and drought are also important to consider as hot, dry weather weakens trees. Following the map considerations will help to avoid premature tree loss and save you money! 

Soil and Sun Conditions
Soil and sun attributes strongly affect trees and shrubs. The quality and amount of soil can limit tree growth if not taken into account prior to planting. Soil surveys are extremely beneficial in determining the type of soil on your farm.

The amount of sunlight available will also affect tree selection. Most woody plants require full sunlight to thrive. Some can do well in light shade but very few do well in densely shaded areas.

For questions and concerns when determining species selection, call 1-800-932-2436 or visit http://www.supportfarmers.com/programs/green-farmstead-partner-program. We’ll connect you with one of our landscape or nursery professionals participating in the Green Farmstead Partner program. 

By: Emma Wilson, CSIF Intern