Whispering Hills in Cary to become McHenry County's newest tree grower

  • Whispering Hills Garden and Landscape Center in Cary will soon be planting a crop of trees, selected specifically for this climate, growing zone 5b.

    Whispering Hills Garden and Landscape Center in Cary will soon be planting a crop of trees, selected specifically for this climate, growing zone 5b. Courtesy of Whispering Hills

  • Whispering Hills Garden and Landscape Center in Cary is tilling up a field to start its own 10-acre tree-growing operation.

    Whispering Hills Garden and Landscape Center in Cary is tilling up a field to start its own 10-acre tree-growing operation. Courtesy of Whispering Hills Garden & Landscape Center

 
 
Updated 12/10/2021 8:40 PM

Starting 2022, Whispering Hills Garden and Landscape Center in Cary will be beginning a tree growing operation.

For the past 30 years, Whispering Hills has been McHenry County's go-to source for quality plant and tree material.

 

Now those decades of knowledge will be applied to become the newest tree grower in McHenry County, Illinois, located on over 10 acres of land.

The benefits to Whispering Hills and their customers is multifold, as explained by garden center manager and horticulturist Sean Ducey.

"Given the fact that the tree growing industry is short on labor, we will be able to ensure that these trees are growing under ideal conditions by growing them at our facility," Ducey said. "Because of labor shortages, there are fewer people at growing facilities to prune trees as they grow, fewer people to control weeds, and a lessened ability to fertilize. By having our trees directly under our nose, we can support them as needed, specific to our climate."

"Because our industry doesn't create widgets, when supply problems arise, it takes a while for supply to meet demand," Ducey said. "Trees take a while to grow and we want to better prepare our supply for when there are shortages."

Ducey said the goal is for customers to be able to select the freshest trees as they would select fresh vegetables from a pick-your-own farm. Customers will not only be able to walk the tree growing facility to select the exact tree that they want, but also be able to see the exact location where it was grown.

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"Think of the farm-to-table movement, with our customers being able to trace our trees from sapling to yard," Ducey continued.

"Almost every day, shipping costs keep increasing. In the last two years since the pandemic, shipping costs have gone up a staggering amount," Ducey said. "Having our trees move from the back of our property to the front of our property is much cheaper than shipping a tree across the country. This means that we can manage our costs, keeping them predictable, controlling for spikes in the cost of freight."

According to Ducey, the trees will be selected specifically for this climate, growing zone 5b. This means that the trees won't have to acclimate to the climate once shipped, and will not undergo the stress of shipping across state lines.

"Our trees will go through winter in northern Illinois, grow in northern Illinois soil, matching the soil conditions of our customers," Ducey said "Growing our trees in the same soil conditions as our customers' yards will give the trees we grow a boost during the transplanting process, helping them grow healthy and strong."

Currently, the land is being tilled, making it usable for growing. The field, which was completely overgrown and not utilized, will be soon growing trees.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Beginning in 2022, Whispering Hills will be planting a new crop of trees, becoming a McHenry County tree grower in addition to a McHenry County plant nursery and full-service garden center.

Whispering Hills Garden and Landscape Center is a full-service landscape center and nursery located in Cary, Illinois.

Stop in today to schedule a spring 2022 cleanup, visit www.whisperinghillsnursery.com for more information, or follow @whisperinghillsgardencenter on Instagram.

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