August 15, 2008
Somerville Nurseries of Everett, just north of Alliston, was recognized for its industry leadership, and asked to host the Canadian Christmas Tree Growers Association Field Day on July 18.

Delegates came from both coasts, as well as the States, to participate in the day-long tour. While Somerville’s sole business, according to one employee, is entirely focused on, “growing trees,” its three divisions, Christmas tree growing, seedling production and landscape stock, all interested those on the tour.

Nursery founder John Somerville, president Fred Somerville, seedling manager Carl Mansfield and production manager Paul Fraser led a tightly-planned tour, generously sharing their experiences and ideas. The busload of growers saw seeding and transplanting operations, field production, irrigation systems and specialized equipment, including GPS-guided planting. Somerville’s approaches to shearing, grading, fertilizing, harvesting and pest management were also covered. Nearly all the processes were staged and demonstrated in the field by Somerville employees, whose pride showed at every stop.

The nursery’s investment in research was apparent on the tour, and it has hired scientific talent to actively find solutions for pests such as white grubs.

Hosting the tour reflects Somerville’s commitment to participation in industry associations. In addition to membership in the provincial and national Christmas tree associations, president Fred Somerville represents the sector in LO’s Growers commodity group.

Founder John Somerville (left) and president Fred Somerville.
Paul Fraser (right) shares ideas and experiences with delegates.