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Taproot Magazine
September/October 2004

F orever Green Tree Farm is owned and operated by Larry and Margie Cooke. The farm is located 8 miles south of St. Maries, ID at 3100 foot in elevation. The farm has been in existence for more than 20 years and truly is a family operation. We raised four children on the farm and now we have 3 son-in-laws joining us. They are: Katie and Bryan, Sarah and Nick, Bethany and Jeff and Paul.

family enterprise We raise conifers for the wholesale nursery market through out the west with an emphasis on the high elevation Rocky Mountain States. Our elevation contributes to a delayed bud break well into May which is a positive attribute for many customers. Every tree is personally managed by Larry and Margie whether it is planting, pruning, nutrient and pest management, developing markets, hosting media groups to promote the industry, servicing and follow-up with customers, quality control and finally to the loading of trucks that is only performed by Larry, with crew assistance. This assures the quality remains from the growing fields to the customerís lot.

The primary species that we grow are: Colorado spruce, Norway spruce, Fraser fir and Border pine. Other minor species are grown as well. We are blessed with a silt loam soil type that has a high water holding capacity and we receive nice timely June rains. The annual precipitation is 37 inches. With these features, irrigation is not required.

Each year over 100 6th graders gather for a 2 day Natural Resource Environmental Camp held at the farm. Larry and Margie believe in showing and demonstrating that agricultural production is an environmentally friendly activity on the landscape. All types of natural resource issues are discussed and Larry and Margie show that pursuing an agricultural occupation is both a rewarding and viable option for todayís young people.

balled trees Currently, field research is being designed to incorporate mustard meal into the soil at various application rates to examine the benefits in weed control, and nutrient and organic matter input. Other research activities include developing wind power as an alternative energy source.

All of the above mentioned activities are consistent with the farmís objectives and business plan. In short, we strive to be environmentally compatible with the farmís capability and to the community, promote the industry at both the State and National level and most importantly, to provide a high quality product with an added personal touch to each and every customer.

We take great pride in raising and marketing Idaho products. It is a pleasure to be a part of the Association where, together, we can help build a better "Green" industry.

Taproot is the Journal of the "Idaho Nursery and Landscape Association." This article ran in the September/October 2004 Issue.

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