Welcome to Chesapeake Nurseries
“The Broadleaf Specialists”
For over fifty years, the Chesapeake name has been synonymous with top quality broadleaf evergreens. We now encompass over 1300 acres on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Approximately half of this acreage is used for the production of high quality ornamental shrubs. We currently grow over 150 varieties of Azaleas, Barberry, Boxwood, Hydrangea, Ilex, Nandina, Ornamental Grasses, Pieris, and many more in various sizes suitable for garden centers, landscape contractors and re-distribution centers.
The sales office, propagation department and Pemberton farm, is located three miles west of Salisbury on Pemberton Drive. Loading and shipping facilities, the repair and fabrication shop and the Green Hill farm, are 11 miles west of Salisbury on MD Route 352.
The nursery was started in 1962 with the first propagation in one unheated, deep cold frame. Our “nursery’s nursery” now consists of more than 50,000 square feet of heated space including a ¾ acre Cravo retractable roof greenhouse, the first one of its kind on the east coast. Over 300,000 liners are produced each year. Most liners start as softwood cuttings planted in pine bark and rooted under intermittent mist.
Chesapeake’s container operation started in the mid-80’s and is now producing over 600,000 plants per year in 3 to 20 gallon plastic pots. We are currently growing in 1100, 300’ hoop houses. We primarily use bark as our growing media and fertilize with dry granular slow release fertilizers. Much emphasis is placed on growing full, dense, healthy, top quality plants. Tremendous time, effort and resources go into production techniques, over wintering, shipping and customer service. Plants are pruned many times during their production to develop well branched, properly shaped, full tops. Six key managers individually label plants by shipment with strict adherence to uniform grading. No plants are pulled in advance; each plant is selected just prior to loading.
In the pulling operations, all plants are placed on 4’ x 6’ pallets to eliminate additional lifting and handling. Currently 25 semi-trailers and two straight trucks are used to send out over 800 loads per year to markets in the Northeast and Midwest. All of our delivery vehicles are decked to insure plants arrive to you in excellent condition. No plant material is double-stacked. We are currently loading as many as 15 loads per day with three crews using four docks with conveyors.
We are currently developing new growing areas for above ground container production. We want to be able to increase the depth of our inventory so that we can supply the plant material you need in the quantities you want. If you haven’t been to the nursery in the last couple of years you can’t imagine how much we’ve accomplished. We welcome the opportunity to show you around.