Well, why not? Ramaelton Farm Nursery in Adamstown, MD, is growing USDA certified organic trees, so if you or your clients are into sustainable gardening, this is what you want. At the moment, there are only about 60-70 of these trees available, but several acres are in production and some one thousand trees are in the pipeline. At the MANTS trade show in Baltimore last week, owner Steve Black said designers in the mid-Atlantic region can spec the trees right now, but he'll ship anywhere in the country.
Black says he believes Raemelton is the first wholesaler in the country to receive USDA certification, but I'm sure that others will follow. At the moment, Black is growing 13 types of certified organic trees, including two apple trees, three cherries (two ornamental, one fruit tree) as well as a number of landscape trees: Red Sunset® Maple, Forest Pansy Redbud, Dawn Redwood, Red and Scarlet Oak, Greenspire Linden, and Princeton and Valley Forge Elms.
Black uses vinegar and other non-toxic solutions to keep weeds under control; the trees are fertilized with compost; and he's experimenting with companion plantings to keep pests away. There's about a 30 percent bump-up in price for the organic trees, but committed environmentalists will certainly not mind the cost increase. What consumers want these days, says Black, is non-GMO products, as well as ones that will reduce pollution and the carbon footprint. He's probably right about that, and right that these trees will soon be showing up in retail garden centers.