At the Nursery, 6 Oct 2019

A look at the nursery as we move into early autumn.  All photos taken Sunday 6 October 2019.

Arlington County Tree Stewards; 14 August 2019

Arlington Couty Tree Stewards

On the morning of 14 August 2019, WHN hosted four representatives from Arlington County Tree Stewards and Davey Tree. Together, they tagged about 90 trees in the 2” caliper range for a fall installation. Species tagged include Quercus bicolor, Quercus palustris, Betula nigra, Celtis occidentalis, Platanus occidentalis, and Ilex opaca.  Together with our sister company South Riding Nurseries, WHN is happy to be a partner in Arlington County planting projects for several years.



In the Field, August 2019, pt 3

Now it’s September and our latest batch of liners is planted.  These photos are from another liner grower we toured in the second week of August.

Here the supplier finishes the liners out in #3 containers which produces a great root system to start the plants off right in our fields.

WHN in the Landscape; 2 Sept 2019


This new pool and clubhouse for Van Metre homes in the South Riding area was landscaped with a variety of plant material (trees, shrubs and perennials) and not just natives. The natives that were utilized help compliment the rest of the landscape while being integrated in with non-native plants. WHN supplied several Q. bicolor for this job; a species which has become quite popular and has tremendous durability and habitat value. We have an excellent availability of 2 and 2½” Quercus bicolor ready for fall 2019 and spring 2020.



At the Nursery, 2 Aug 2019, pt 2 of 2

More photos of our healthy, vigorous stock.  All photos taken Friday 2 August 2019.

In the Field, August 2019, pt 1

Matt Deivert and Eric Sours toured three key liner suppliers during the second week of August.  This is the first of a few posts over the next several weeks highlighting some of the stock we saw.

This time investment is well worth it to put our eyes on our liners for this September and next spring. Not every plant grows the same every year and from one grower to another, so it always makes sense to get out and see what current and future crops are looking like.  It also gives us the chance to learn about production practices and new products while providing face-to-face feedback to our liner growers. Overall the liners we saw looked great.  Eric will start planting the Tuesday after Labor Day.

Featured Native: American Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana)

Carpinus caroliniana; 2″ at the farm.

Carpinus caroliniana (American hornbeam or musclewood) is an attractive but seldom-utilized native tree that excels in small landscapes, especially in moister and shadier situations.   Native to almost all of the United States east of the Mississippi River save northern Maine and the immediate Gulf Coast, musclewood is a much smaller and more irregular tree than its more commonly cultivated European brother cousin C. betulus.  In the wild, C. caroliniana is most often found in rich, moist woodlands, shady valleys and ravine bottoms and clinging to rocky slopes along stream beds.

In the landscape, musclewood matures to an irregularly-rounded small tree; typically no more than

Carpinus caroliniana; fruit detail.

Young Carpinus caroliniana in a landscape setting.

Carpinus caroliniana; autumn color

25-30 feet in height with an equal or slightly larger spread.  The deep green alternate leaves are 2½ to 4 inches long and half that in width, resembling those of the American beech (Fagus grandifolia), but with distinctively double serrated margins.  The leaves turn a bright clear yellow in autumn, fading to dark orange then brown before falling.   Inconspicuous male and female flowers in spring lead to an attractive fruit consisting of a short pendulous cluster of small nutlets, each subtended by a three-lobed leafy bract.  In winter, the smooth, fluted blue-gray bark becomes the star attraction and the source of both the musclewood name and the older common name of blue beech.  Carpinus caroliniana thrives in the garden in average to moist soils and in partial to semi-dense shade, but excels in moist, acidic situations. It also has a good tolerance for clay soils and is one of the few native plants that can thrive under the canopy of black walnut (Juglans nigra) trees.  Due to its fibrous, spreading roots, transplanting is best accomplished in the spring and when the tree is relatively young.    It is relatively pest-free and tolerant of pruning once established.

Carpinus caroliniana; 2½” at the farm in winter.

Carpinus in general have very strong, dense, almost white heartwood that can be burnished to appear like horn, hence the common name ‘hornbeam’.  The wood was used by early European settlers for bowls, yokes, and tool handles.  The tiny nutlets serve as food source for squirrels and many native songbirds, grouse, and quail while the tree itself is a favored host of several native moths.

We supply Carpinus caroliniana in a range of sizes including 1½”, 2”, 2½” and 3” caliper.  It is an excellent, attractive, and low-maintenance tree that deserves a place in your landscape designs.






WHN in the Landscape; 12 Aug 2019


Even though these native trees from WHN are technically being utilized in a “buffer planting” at yet another new data center in Chantilly, their larger sizes and exceptional quality will make an instant statement. The quality of theses tree and overall installation was dramatic enough to be noticed and praised by the general contractor–who typically focuses only on hardscaping and the actual building. Additional opportunities are in the works now for future projects.



At the Nursery, 2 Aug 2019, pt 1 of 2

A look at the great growth on our stock this summer.  All photos taken Friday 2 August 2019.