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Room to Grow

New Arboretum plant production facilities, constructed as part of the $63 million Growing Brilliantly campaign, are now complete and ready to host plants. The timing couldn’t be better, with the busy spring and summer growing seasons ahead.

The new facilities, located on the west side of the Arboretum, include two new greenhouses with state-of-the-art temperature and humidity controls. Their addition has boosted available indoor growing space by 5,400 square feet.

Also part of the new construction is an 18,000-square-foot plant production support building with work space for growers and room to store planting supplies.

Arboretum growers care for nearly 100,000 plants each year. In fact, many of the plants visitors encounter got their start in an Arboretum greenhouse.

These plants are grown for a variety of reasons. Some are displayed in gardens, special collections, and natural areas throughout the 1,700 acres of the Arboretum. Others are part of experiments by Arboretum researchers who are uncovering ways to grow healthier trees and plants. Still others are raised for sale to home gardeners at the annual Arbor Day Plant Sale in April.

In recent years, however, available space hasn’t been enough to accommodate need. Many of the plants grown at the Arboretum are hard-to-find varieties that aren’t available from commercial nurseries, or are needed in different shapes or sizes from what is available for purchase.

Thanks to many generous donors to the Growing Brilliantly campaign these new greenhouses, planting spaces, and staff work areas will provide ample room to grow trees and plants for years to come.

“The new greenhouses and planting areas have really changed the way we work,” says Senior Grower Nick Zubenko. “All of our containers, soil amendments, and other planting supplies are now centralized in one location. We have everything we need to grow healthy plants at our fingertips.”