Located in Riverbank California, the property where the nursery now stands was
originally a peach and nectarine orchard. In 1963 it was purchased by Bill and
Sharon Morris who then shipped fresh fruit to the East Coast until 1976 when they
Morris Nursery. At that time, Bill Morris (who also taught
agriculture at a local high school) took a weekend job at Zaiger’s Nursery and
horticultural classes at Modesto Junior College to learn more about plants.
Sharon Morris (while also raising their two children) worked right along side Bill
to help their business grow and they soon created the hugely successful garden center
and gift shop that stands today.
Offering a wide selection of plant and gardening
material at a reasonable price as well as their expert advice, the nursery quickly became
known as one of the finest in the San Joaquin Valley. As the business grew, so did the
wholesale division and the growing grounds. Bill and Sharon's simple philosophy of
“one-stop-shopping” allowed their growing nursery to service retail customers as
well as the many landscape contractors and professional designers with two separate divisions. Then ... in 1996 the
two companies were officially split. That year,
Morris Retail Nursery was sold to Ron Hoffmann, their
Retail General Manager (and all-around nice guy) for many years. Bill and Sharon then focused their business
knowledge on the Morris Wholesale Nursery.
Beginning with just a four man crew, Morris Wholesale quickly grew to a crew of
ten and a few part-time employees as well.
Besides landscape contractors, sales included many other retail garden centers in the Central
Valley and the foothills. In the year 2000, an adjoining 4 1/2 acres was purchased,
increasing the growing grounds to 12 acres for production. This addition gave the
nursery a total capacity of 17,000 #5 trees, 3,000 #15 trees, 43,000 #5 woody shrubs, and
348,000 #1 woody shrubs (including perennials and grasses).
The nursery now has two acres under shade for heat protection and 15 large cold frames
(24’x 60’) in order to keep production continuous during the winter months.
In keeping up with the industry’s trends, the perennial and grass production has recently
nearly tripled. Landscapers and garden centers are certain to be pleased with the
wide variety of plant material available throughout the year as Morris Wholesale
continues to mature and grow.
In August of 2006,
Morris Wholesale Nursery
was sold to Jesse Hernandez, their successful General Manager for the previous 12 years. The nursery’s wide product line and
expert service continues to be the company focus as the nursery increases its delivery
to the Bay Area, Napa/Sonoma, and the Sacramento areas. The banner of excellence
that made Bill and Sharon so successful ... is now held aloft by Kathy and Jesse Hernandez.