Phoenix farm builds more efficient greenhouses

For more than 40 years, Desert Tree Farm in Phoenix, AZ has been able to excel as one of the largest and oldest producers of quality climate adapted plants in the country. The farm’s motto is Growing Plants for Arizona’s Future™ and its mission is to provide robust trees, shrubs, cactus and groundcovers that are both drought tolerant and desert-adapted. The farm performs all of its growing and propagation in commercial greenhouses manufactured by Agra Tech, one of the largest greenhouse companies in North America.

Recently, the Desert Tree Farm moved most of its propagation and growing operations to a new location to become more efficient and centrally located. Their former location was in North Phoenix on 15 acres, but it badly needed to be updated.

"It was a matter of completely refurbishing it or selling it,” Chelsey Hull, production manager, said. “In January, we moved everything into our South Yard, which provides us with more than 90 acres. Most of the growing happens here now and we’re more efficient as a result. It just made sense. One of our strengths is the fact that we have a deep inventory, which means that landscaping and construction companies can come here and fill their orders completely,” she said. “That’s why we have become a one- stop shop for many of our customers. We also attribute our success to our dedicated, hardworking, and skilled employees.”

The farm’s relationship with Agra Tech goes back 30 years or more, Hull said. “We have been buying Agra Tech greenhouses for a long time because they can save us labor and are easy-to-use. We put our structures through a lot of wear and tear and rely on them to work right. Our attitude is if it’s not broken don’t fix it.”

The farm decided to go with 11 Insulator gutter-connected greenhouses for propagation and seven Solar Light greenhouses (a total of over 38,000 sq ft) to grow the plants with a wide range of accessories in its South Yard.

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