January 23, 2023 /
Christina Hester

We Went to MANTS!

Earlier this month, our farm team had the honor of attending the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS), one of the largest private trade shows serving the horticulture industry and the premier green industry marketplace for finding plants and nursery stock, landscape and garden items, heavy and light duty equipment, tools, furniture, and hundreds of other allied industry products.

Our attendance at MANTS was not only a great opportunity to learn about current nursery trends, see new farm products and machinery, and make connections with other growers and customers – it was also a time to highlight our own work in tree production using techniques that prioritize long-term soil health and productivity while safeguarding the overall environment. It was a chance to showcase our farm’s very unique connection to DC and our strong commitment to sustainability.

At the conclusion of MANTS, our farm team commented on how great it was to hear from other trade show attendees – not only their recognition of our Berryville, VA farm as a grower of high-quality trees, but their recognition of our larger organization as a nonprofit leader in the area of urban forestry.

See below for just a few photos from our time at MANTS.

A view of the busy MANTS conference hall | Photo Credit: @MANTSBaltimore



In addition to representing our farm at MANTS, our farm was also busy with the regular tasks of digging tree orders, maintaining farm equipment, and delivering young trees for planting in DC, among other farm tasks. 

One seasonal farm task is to sample select trees from around the farm and inspect their root systems, to make sure that the tree is as healthy below the ground as it is above. At Casey Trees, we have many reasons we work with rootbag grown trees. First and foremost is the ability to create a healthy root system (check out this photo of a sampled Tulip poplar).

We’re looking at the root systems, to see if they are growing regularly for that species, inspecting the soil around the roots, checking for any circling or binding roots, and generally making sure that all of our trees being shipped out are healthy and ready to thrive when they reach the city.

The soft sided fabric container (rootbag) is meant to root prune the tree as it grows. From what we’ve seen at the farm, this reduces transplant stress and encourages quicker establishment after planting. Secondly, we’re able to ship far more trees per delivery due to the smaller package with a dense fibrous root system. Last but not least, we’ve found the product is lighter, easier to handle, and easier to fit in more constricted planting sites – which is essential when planting in dense urban areas like DC.

Scroll down to check out some more of the beautiful sights from around our farm this season!