By: Shelly Robinson | Category: Lawn & Garden | Issue: April 2009
Brent Jacobs of the Owasso Tree and Berry Farm welcomes you for a visit. Spring season opens April 4-5.
It’s easy to be inspired by anyone who truly loves their work; this is what makes the Owasso Tree and Berry Farm so much fun to visit. Brent Jacobs is in his seventh season managing the landscape tree division, and his passion is finding trees that are both beautiful to look at and practical to grow in the rough Oklahoma climate.
Many Oklahomans are in the long-term process of replacing trees from ice storms in recent years, and Jacobs is happy to help. Whether you are looking for something to mimic the look of the tree that was originally there, or going for a totally new look with a flowering tree or specialty version, the Owasso Tree and Berry Farm has a huge variety to choose from. Jacobs says people are surprised when they first visit the growing area at the farm. “What we have up on the road is just a display area – we actually have about 800 trees ready to go for spring and many more that will be ready for fall, so there is no shortage of trees here,” he explains.
Tree farming is a constantly developing industry, and Jacobs is always looking for new varieties that improve on the ones before. One of the trees he really likes is the Emerald Sunshine elm. It was developed in Enid, Oklahoma and is therefore acclimated to our area. It is highly resistant to Dutch elm disease and the Dutch elm beetle. It resembles the old American elm tree with a large leaf for maximum shade, but is much tougher. The Bosque elm is another of his favorites and is a great choice for our region.
Ornamental trees are Jacobs’s passion, and the farm boasts a variety of flowering and weeping trees. Crabapples are always popular, and the tree Jacobs is featuring for April is the Louisa weeping crabapple. They are four to five feet tall and feature a pink bloom in the spring. The tree broadens as it ages and weeps to the ground, providing a beautiful profile. This tree is hardier and takes the clay soil better than weeping cherries, according to Jacobs.
One of the advancements made in recent years is the use of growing the trees in a container right at the farm. This ensures the trees are acclimated to Oklahoma conditions and right for our growing zone. “We grow our trees in a special ‘grow bag’ to keep their roots intact. Our growing system is more successful and causes less stress to the tree than traditional ground planting, where the tree is dug up and loses the majority of its root system,” explains Jacobs.
If you are looking for larger caliper trees, the Owasso Tree and Berry Farm has a healthy assortment to choose from. Red Sunset maples, Summit ash, Pin oak and Green Vase zelkova in 30-gallon containers feature a 2-inch caliper. Sixty-gallon containers of Patmore ash, Royal Raindrops crabapple and red maples are also available. Jacobs points out that many homeowners associations have covenants which require a 2-inch caliper, and these trees meet the need locally. Delivery is free in the Owasso area, and planting is also available, for a small fee.
The official opening weekend for the spring season is April 4-5. The Owasso Tree and Berry Farm is easily accessible from Tulsa by taking Highway 169 north and exiting at the 106th Street exit. It is located half a mile north of the intersection of 106th Street and 129th East Avenue. Business hours are Saturdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays noon to 5 p.m. Jacobs is also available by appointment weeknights after 5 p.m. Appointments can be scheduled by calling the farm at (918) 272-9445 or (918) 645-5099.