Our business was started in 1902 as the Simpson Nursery Company, a family partnership. By the early 1960’s Simpson Nursery Company had become the nation’s leading producer of pecan trees and watermelon seed. In 1963 the business was sold to Gro-Plant Industries and the product mix was expanded to a complete line of deciduous trees and shrubs.
In April, 1975, Jefferson Growers, Inc. purchased the assets of Gro-Plant Industries and retained the Simpson Nurseries trade name. The stockholders of Jefferson Growers, Inc. were seven Monticello businessmen dedicated to provide employment for local residents. By 1995, Fred Beshears, one of the original seven stockholders, had bought out the other six partners. Today Simpson Nurseries is wholly owned and managed by the Beshears family, Rob, Halsey, Thad and Fred.
At present, the nursery has 135 full-time employees and 1300 total acres. Each year approximately 20 acres are planted for pecan tree production. That production cycle runs three years. The nursery also plants 60 acres in general field nursery stock each year with a production cycle of two years. Included in these two year crops are fruit trees, shade trees, flowering trees and deciduous shrubs.
Simpson Nurseries 500 acre container tree production area contains over 1,000,000 trees and shrubs ranging in size from one gallon to fifteen gallon pots. Simpson is also the exclusive marketer of Big Southern Tree Growers, which produces 30 to 100 gallon sized nursery stock.
Located near the container area is the nursery’s propagation production area. Included here is a softwood propagation area which holds approximately 800,000 liners, a container seed area which holds 200,000 liners and a field bed production area. The field beds are used to grow marketable trees and shrubs from seed, hardwood cuttings, rooted liners, budded understocks and bench grafts. The plant density for some of the varieties can run as high as 50-60,000 trees per acre.
Simpson Nurseries is now a leading source of pecan trees, deciduous nursery stock and evergreens, building its sales primarily around retail nurseries, landscapers, mass merchandisers and pecan plantations. Simpson remains a leader in the nursery industry, developing new technology, production methods and marketing ideas which are implemented throughout the country.