by Jane Beggs-Joles, Corporate ASLA
It’s August 2023, and growers are deciding on their inventory for 2025.
You read that right: two years out. That’s the best-case scenario, and that’s for flowering shrubs. Sure, perennials will have a quicker turn-around, but trees take even longer. And that two-year forecast? It’s for a three-gallon container. If you like five- or seven-gallon specimens, the timeline gets even longer.
Here are the details:
Right now, growers are looking at what sold this spring and anticipating what will sell through the rest of the year. This tells them both what plants are popular and how much space they have for new crops. They do some math, make some educated guesses about demand, and then order their starter plants (liners) for delivery in spring 2024. Most of those flowering shrubs will need at least a year to grow to a finished size, and that’s how we get all the way to 2025. For slower-growing plants and larger specimens, it will take even longer. If they can’t get the liners until summer or fall, add another few months to the schedule.