The Holobiont: setting a new industry standard
Updated: Jul 14, 2018
In addition to the care with which we select and install our trees, the care our stock is given while in our nursery is truly second to none.
Most clients and outsiders to the industry can only hope that their purchases are made with professionalism on their behalf at various grower facilities and rewholesalers. Sadly, what is most often the case is that the trees they invest in have come from an anonymous and highly stressful background. Landscapers and Landscape Architects are often completely in the dark as to the history and care of what they recommend or purchase. While the plants may show no visible signs of mistreatment, subsequent seasons are witness to high maintenance costs and ultimately expensive band-aid solutions to prolong the short life of sick products. Factory production and lack of consumer knowledge are prevalent even in Toronto’s “High-End” market.
This is a discouraging reality that is a waste of good intentions and limited resources.
At Hylaeus we put the concept of the “Holobiont” front and center. Scientifically, trees are no longer regarded as simply a plant-like organism divested of relationships beyond the basic needs of sunlight, water and soil. What is now widely acknowledged, and what is currently being investigated in new and exciting ways, is that plants and especially trees are critically composed of a complex set of microorganisms that work synergistically to enable health and adaptation to environmental challenges.
It is our responsibility as a nursery and installer to ensure that we are selling a COMPLETE organism to our clients.
Immediately upon receiving our trees in our nursery in spring, we begin a refined regime of care that starts with being properly heeled-in and mulched in our special soils. The practice of storing trees in pots or crates, or worse as exposed wire-baskets irrigated above ground, is silent torture to a tree’s roots. This process divests the plant of its beneficial microbial connections and severs the already tenuous link these plants may have to a healthy future.
What follows in our care is a mindfully orchestrated ‘spa-like’ treatment whose sole purpose is to reinstate the MICROBIOME, or hidden resilience, of our trees. Once the trees are first transplanted, shipped and heeled into our facility, we begin the use of custom organic BIOSTIMULANT blends to encourage our products to naturally overcome the stress response of being moved. Once the roots begin within a short time to redevelop, we directly inoculate each specimen with a complex and proven range of beneficial bacterias, archaea, protists and fungi that act as a powerful interface between the tree and the outside world. We purchase these blends from trusted scientific organizations that have performed DNA verification on their products and we also brew our own blends daily in the nursery for general use. At this time we also introduce a high-diversity mycorrhizal fungi spore mix that takes months to silently form permanent and fundamental plant-health associations. These measures are complemented by weekly external foliar sprays by our company arborist, in an effort to pre-empt familiar cosmetic pests of recently transplanted stock. All of these care initiatives culminate in the establishment of tree “endophytes”, or internal organisms within the tree, which are generally regarded as stable companions for a tree’s immune function and longevity, which would take possibly decades to establish in commercial nursery stock without intervention.
What our clients purchase are the healthiest, most viable choices that money can buy.
We do not charge in addition to our installation to use minimal biotic inoculants at the time of planting to condition our product. We devote months of genuine attention to ensure that we have done everything possible to guarantee that when our trees are sold, they have been given the best chance of a long and healthy life. To our knowledge, we are the ONLY rewholesale nursery and plant installer in North America that invests so much time and interest in making our trees a COMPLETE organism. Our trees are preconditioned with a LUST for life under optimal conditions and a RESILIENCE to environmental stress inherent in urban existence and climate change.
Why would we settle for anything less?
Our nursery is open to the public and professionals upon appointment.