Greenleaf Nursery Company has grown from a local, cash-only retailer established in 1945 to become one of the largest wholesale nursery growers in North America today.
The nursery is most widely known for its extensive selection of broadleaf evergreen and deciduous shrubs, pver 70 varieties of ornamental grasses, shrub roses that are available year round, a large conifer selection and a variety of shade and ornamental trees.
Managing a complex business
Greenleaf has four nurseries, two in Oklahoma and one each in Texas and North Carolina, that together comprise 2,000 acres. Combined, they grow and distribute more than 14 million plants each year.
Deciding what those plants should be is critical to the company’s success. “One of our challenges is navigating the ever-changing marketplace and projecting the demand for certain plants two years into the future,” says Randy Davis, President of Greenleaf. Some plants are retained even longer to provide distributors with a range of sizes.
While Greenleaf now has more than 1,000 employees, the company maintains its tradition of personal service with highly trained, specialized customer service departments and territory representatives who utilize cutting-edge technology to manage customer orders and distribute plants to retailers, wholesale distribution centers and landscapers in 45 states and Canada.
Responding to climate change
In the past several decades, changes in weather conditions made innovation and research a necessity, and Greenleaf endeavored to grow hardier plants and install new types of weather protection over their growing areas to protect more susceptible plants. This effort also led Greenleaf to become nearly 100% propagation self-sufficient, meaning that they distribute only plants they have grown themselves.
Being a good environmental steward is also important at Greenleaf’s operations. The nursery has voluntarily implemented a water recycling program, and a comprehensive eco-friendly fertilization and insect control management agenda. For their efforts to conserve natural resources, the EPA, Sierra Club and Southern Nursery Associations have recognized Greenleaf with prestigious environmental awareness awards.