Fruits of J. Appleseed’s labors begin to pay off |

Fruits of J. Appleseed’s labors begin to pay off

Post Independent Photos/Kelley CoxWith the crabapple trees in full bloom and the Bookcliffs in the background, J. Appleseed Nursery in Rulison is at its scenic peak this time of year. (Above) Rulison resident Blane Colton has traded in his beehives for crabapple trees as his nursery opens for its first season.

Business name: J. Appleseed Nursery

Owner: Blane Colton

Address: 6565-B, 309 Road, Parachute (at Rulison), CO 81635

Open hours: Seasonal, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Phone: 970-625-5740; best time to call is 7 to 8 a.m. or p.m., otherwise you will wind up talking to the electromagnetic facsimile of my voice.

Fax: none


Web site: (still under construction)

Years in business: Six years in the nurturing, this is our first crop!

Number of employees: Zero to four.

Is this a franchise? Poetry cannot be franchised.

What do you do? Our job is to beautify and perfume the world. We are growing gourmet, ornamental, blossoming crabapple trees.

Why? Because crabapple trees are the most psychedelic tree you can grow in this climate, and everyone should make a statement about what is good and wholesome and of great beauty in this world.

Who are your customers? We sell primarily wholesale to retail nurseries and landscapers, but we are also open to the public and are about to be discovered.

Come on by, breathe, look and be happy. If your local retail nursery doesn’t carry our trees yet, pass along this article to him or her and tell them to get on the stick!

What’s unique about your business? We are growing gourmet trees. These are not big box store trees!

Our trees will actually grow when you put them in the ground. We grow in socket pots buried in the ground. This process is more costly and time consuming than field growing trees but our trees will have their root system intact while dug trees will have lost up to 75 percent of their roots.

We fuss over our trees, feed, prune them properly (eliminating crossed branching, weak crotches, etc) add mycorrhizae, earthworms, etc. You cannot buy a higher quality crabapple tree.

What’s good about doing business here? I live here. It’s a great place to live and work.

What has been your most successful offering? Our most popular tree is the Spring Snow Crabapple. It is robust, has a round aspect when mature and a brilliant, snow white blossom (sort of like a giant white lollipop!) and is sterile, meaning: no fruit.

We have three weepers, the Candied Apple Crabapple, which has pink blossoms and the trunk is trained into a helix, the Molten Lava Crabapple, which has pink turning to white blossoms and grows to 14 feet high by 20 to 25 wide at maturity, and the Louisa Crabapple, 15 by 15 feet with a pink blossom and looks like a miniature, blossoming weeping willow.

We have the stately Adams Crabapple, the delicate Prairifire Crabapple and the burgundy blossomed Indian Summer Crabapple. We have Prunis padus, the Summer Glow Bird Cherry, a white blossomed beauty.

All the crabapples are either sterile or “persistent,” by the way, meaning that the fruit stays on the tree all winter for the birds to eat (and doesn’t make a big mess all over your lawn like your grandmother’s crabapple used to do).

What’s next for your business? After I make my first million I think I will reinvest it in this farming operation until it is all gone.

Editor’s note: Business in Focus is a new series appearing every Monday in the Business section of the Post Independent, featuring the inspiration and experiences of local business owners. If you would like your business to be featured, contact GSPI Managing Editor Heather McGregor via e-mail at, or by phone at 945-8515, ext. 517.

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