Local Nursery to Close Affecting More Than 250 Workers

July 18, 2014
Dwayne Page

A nursery in Smithville will be closing one of its operations here this fall, a move that is expected to affect as many as 257 workers.

The Berry Family of Nurseries, located on Vaughn Lane in Smithville, has filed a mandatory Employee Dislocation Notification with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development announcing a closure by September 30. But while the operation on Vaughn Lane will be shutting down, WJLE has learned that the Berry Family of Nurseries' second location in Smithville on Short Mountain Highway will continue in operation.

The Vaughn Lane nursery grows mostly perennials, shrubs, and roses and the workforce varies from as few as 125 during the winter season to as many as 450 during the spring. The Short Mountain Highway location employs around 200 workers and grows ornamental, flowering, fruit, and shade trees.

Berry purchased the Short Mountain Road operation from H.J. Judkins and Sons Nursery several years ago and later acquired the Vaughn Lane nursery from Zelenka, who had purchased it from Knowles & Sons Nursery in 2001.

The Berry Family of Nurseries was founded in 1993 and is based in Irving, Texas with nurseries in Cornelius, Oregon; Hulbert, Oklahoma; Sims, North Carolina; Grand Haven, Michigan; and Quincy, Florida in addition to the Smithville locations.

The company grows colorful plants, seasonal blooming plants, ground cover and fragrance roses, sweet fruit trees, perennials, hydrangeas, azaleas, woody ornamental plants, and lilacs. It serves customers through various garden centers and big box stores in the United States.

In addition to the Smithville closure, Berry also plans to shut down its operation in Oregon, affecting 100 workers there.

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