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Customer Case Study

Fabric Grow Bags: A Competitive Edge at Urban Forest Nurseries

Cultivating Success Through Root Control
When Jim Barborinas started using fabric grow bags at Urban Forest Nursery in Mt. Vernon, Washington, it was anything but chance. Jim had called tree farm after tree farm to uncover the most successful nursery practices. He wasn’t just interested in fast-growing trees — he wanted to cultivate long-lasting relationships with customers. And that meant delivering trees that not only survived but flourished. That’s when Jim discovered Root Control Bags from High Caliper Growing.

Growing Healthier Trees with Grow Bags
Root Control Bags deliver tangible benefits that cannot be achieved through other growing methods. Unlike plastic pots, Root Control Bags prevent root circling, a condition that drastically increases mortality. “We have almost zero mortality. Anecdotally, we’ve had customers say they choose us over other nurseries because our trees simply don’t die.”

And it’s not just the health of the root ball that matters. It’s the size. “Compared with ball-and-burlap, we can fit 30% more trees on a truck. And unlike ball-and-burlap, they don’t fall apart in transit. The shipping cost is flat-rate, so the more trees we can fit on the truck, the more profitable we are and the more our customers save.”

Gaining Serious Ground
Veteran tree farmers realize something most people don’t — they’re not just selling trees, they’re selling soil. “Really good soil takes years to develop,” Jim remarked. “With ball-and-burlap, you have this huge root ball. Root Control Bags keep the root ball compact, so we deal with less soil loss.”

Fabric grow bags helped Jim gain ground in other, more unexpected ways as well. While traditional tree farms leave wide lanes for tree spades, Jim’s tree harvesting process is much simpler — and more compact. “We use a small, articulated tractor with a fork on it. We can harvest a three-inch caliper tree in about one minute. Literally.” With the tree spade out of the picture, Jim can plant rows much closer together, allowing him to maximize yields and profits on his 32 acres.

Ahead of the Curve… and the Competition

In a recent national survey, cities and contractors were asked to name a nursery in their state that provided high-quality, viable trees. Urban Forest Nursery was the only tree farm named by any survey respondent in the state of Washington. And they were named by multiple customers. Jim was already a big believer in Root Control Bags, and the survey confirmed what he already knew — that fabric grow bags are the best tree growing product on the market.

At a recent conference, a presenter lectured the audience on the superiority of fabric grow bags over other scientifically studied tree growing techniques. “People started raising their hands and asking ‘If it’s so great, why isn’t everybody using grow bags?’ I raised my hand and said, ‘I’ve been doing it for 15 years.'” Turns out Jim was right. With diligent research and careful planning, success is literally in the bag.

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