Urban Forest Nursery, Inc. Logo
June, 2020

Below is the link to our latest inventory. As always, please contact us if you have any questions about availability or pricing. 


Our inventory report now includes all trees in production so our customers can see what we are continuing to grow!

Nursery News
Are your trees thirsty?
About this time every year, we have this discussion. Watering Trees.
Watering trees sounds simple enough. Surprisingly, it's not that easy given that new trees die in the landscape from lack of water every year. It has been especially critical this year as the weather continues to get warmer.  Here's the secret:  Find a way to get water slowly to the root ball. Use a trickling hose, drip irrigation, a TreeGator or a bucket with a small hole in it. Anything to ensure slow delivery so water can gradually soak into the root-ball. Forget sprinkler irrigation and especially rainfall. We cringe whenever we hear someone say, "Oh, I think it's going to rain soon". Unless it's a monsoon, forget any rainfall watering your newly planted tree effectively. Remember, newly planted trees must live entirely off the moisture in their root-ball until roots grow away to surrounding soils. Give them a chance.

FYI  - We grow approximately  180 varieties   of trees  but here are some we have that are hard to find:

  • Nyssa & cultivars
  • Parrotia & cultivars
  • Carpinus caroliniana & cultivars
  • Ginkgo & cultivars
  • Quercus garryana
  • Frontier elm
  • Snowcone Styrax
  • Many others  
Check out these great articles: Tales From the Magic Skagit: A Tulip Poplar Grows in Mount Vernon Part 1 and 2
What's in a Name?
(Part 1)

I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree,” penned Joyce Kilmer in his now famous arboreal ode, Tree, published in August 1913 in Poetry: A Magazine of Verse. I don’t believe we know if there was a particular tree that inspired Kilmer to write the poem that countless Baby Boomers have recited at some point in their public school careers — but given the fact that he was born in New Jersey, Kilmer may very likely have beheld a tulip poplar tree when the muse blindsided him. It’s impossible to imagine not being overwhelmed by the majesty of a fully grown tulip poplar.
The Mists of Time
(Part 2)
While our research has not yet pinned down the particulars of when and by whom Mount Vernon’s epic tulip poplar was planted, Jim Barborinas can definitely say that it’s the largest of its kind in the State of Washington, based on what he describes as a “list of championship trees that was published nearly 30 years ago.”
Jim does have a theory, however, as to its origin — which also happens to be the one that I subscribe to based on the fact that the tulip poplar (as we learned in Part 1 of this series) is native to the eastern part of the continental United States. It is most likely that someone also native to that end of the continent would have either brought a seedling with them, or purchased one from traveling merchants during a time when driving the SUV to Home Depot wasn’t a landscaping option.
Featured Tree
Zelkova serrata
(Japanese Zelkova)

The Japanese Zelkova (Zelkova serrata), and its cultivars, have proven to be a popular and reliable urban tree. Being aware of the differences in the cultivars, and some of the new ones being grown, will help you make the right selection when planting this variety.

The species is fast-growing, somewhat wide-spreading, and vase shaped. The most obvious characteristic of the straight species is the somewhat crooked or curve in some of the limbs compared to most of the other cultivars that have straight limbs. Thought at first to become a replacement for the magnificent elm, the Zelkova will never live up to that due to its ultimate smaller size. The leaf is similar to an elm leaf, but narrower. The fall color is usually yellow, but sometimes bronzy-reddish during dry falls on the west side of the Cascade Mountains, but more typically richer in color on the east side. I have seen some older Zelkovas with included bark, but that may be avoided when selecting in the nursery. Its susceptibility to Dutch Elm Disease has been in question, but most anecdotal evidence suggests there is some resistance. Although I have observed dieback in stressed trees, it appears that once established, it does perform relatively well in the most inhospitable of sidewalk opening locations. See the Zelkovas around Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington or in downtown Bellevue, Washington.
The most popular cultivars I am aware of are the ‘Halka’, ‘Village Green ’, ‘Musashino’, ‘Wireless ® ’, and ‘Green Vase ® ’. ‘Halka’ is the fastest and largest growing Zelkova cultivar, making it the closest Zelkova replacement for the elm, but still falling short. ‘Village Green ’ has a reliable wide-spreading form, with straight limbs and dense green foliage. You must give this tree crown room to spread. The ‘Green Vase ® ’ Zelkova is a narrower, V-shaped, more upright crown, and an excellent street tree, especially for limited above-ground places with limited width for the crown. The Musashino Zelkova (Zelkova serrata ‘Musashino’) is even narrower than Green Vase, which should become popular. There is also ‘Wireless ® Zelkova (Zelkova serrata, ‘Schmidtlow’), which is even more broad-spreading than Village Green , making it, as the name implies, appropriate for utility wire locations without growing into the wires.

Given the toughness of this tree and variety of forms available, Zelkovas will continue to play an important role in our street tree arsenal. There should be no excuse for not choosing the right Zelkova for the right place.

Click below to see another great and more recent Zelkova cultivar Tree Profile.

Jim Barborinas, ISA #PN-0135, ASCA Reg. # 356. TRAQ Qualified
Urban Forest Nursery, Inc.
Urban Forestry Services, Inc./Bartlett Consulting
Mount Vernon, Washington
Tree Profile Video for Zelkova serrata 'Musashino'
2020 Available Inventory
Click below to see our latest inventory list. We will be updating it soon and will send out monthly emails to ensure our customers always have the most current information on our availability.
As always,  we invite our customers to come check out our production facility in Mount Vernon, WA , including our new RFID Inventory system.  Give us a call and set up your appointment today!
    We have reached our pledg e of $100,000 to the TREE Fund Endowment Campaign to fund research , with a special emphasis on root systems, in order to grow better nursery stock.   Our first $10,000 Research Grant will be awarded every other year in perpetuity starting next year. To meet that goal, we allocate d a portion of each sale to the Endowment and will continue to do so to increase the amount in the future . Go to  www.treefund.org   for more information and challenges facing our urban trees. Thank you for your support!