Washington Association of Conservation Districts
Plant Materials Center

360-757-1094 * 16564 Bradley Road, Bow WA 98232 *

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Harvest
Each year, harvest begins when the plants receive 300-400 hours below 40 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure deep dormancy. Harvest typically begins in the first week in December.  If there are frozen conditions it is too detrimental for the plant material to be lifted.
To make harvest successful we use customized lifting equipment.  The 2008 4x4 Kubota M105S with cab was special ordered for our needs. The tires are set at the width of our planting beds and at a maximum height for plant clearance. A special creeper gear was installed to allow for the slowest possible transplanting and lifting speed.
The 2008 PTO driven Lundeby Plant Lifter was designed for our plant clearance and bed width. The implement is pulled behind the tractor and set to the optimal depth for each plants root structure. There are oscillating teeth that help remove the soil from the roots with the least amount of stress possible. The end result is clean bareroot plants that are loaded into totes and immediately covered with wet burlap and returned to the packing shed for processing.
Once the plants are brought to the processing line in the packing shed they are sorted to size and counted to bundle amounts. They are sprayed with water to make sure the roots stay moist before they are root pruned to 10". The bundles are then banded and label and placed in our poly lined paper bags. The bags are labeled and placed on a cooler storage frame.
Each frame is inventoried and placed in the proper location in the cooler. The cooler is kept at 36 - 39 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure plant dormancy. Scheduled orders are built one week in advance using the large quantity cooler inventory and are placed per order in the cooler.